ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 3, 2008) – Following second and third-place finishes in her first two United States starts, New Zealand-bred Exquisite broke through with a winning effort at Santa Anita Friday when she gamely withstood a pair of stretch challenges to take Oak Tree’s $50,200 allowance feature for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on turf.
With Alex Solis in the saddle, the 4-year-old bay filly battled off a bid by Mohaka before denying the late charge of Fire n’ Brimstone to beat the latter by a neck in a driving finish while timed in 1:47.64.
Sent off as the 3-1 second choice in Friday’s field of eight, Exquisite paid $8.60, $4.40 and $3.60. Fire n’ Brimstone, ridden by Tyler Baze, paid $4.80 and $3.10. Mohaka, who finished another half-length back in third under Victor Espinoza, returned $5.
In a relatively paceless field, Solis, after tracking early leader Four Paws, guided Exquisite to the front down the back straight, and it turned out to be the winning move.
Purchased earlier this year by trainer Paddy Gallagher on behalf of a partnership that includes Bienstock and Winner Stable and Mandabach and Redwood Racing, Exquisite earned $30,000, which elevated her career total to $73,007.
Oak Tree presents a ten-race card on Saturday headed by the Grade III, $100,000 Senator Ken Maddy Handicap with first post at 12:30 p.m.