Saturday afternoon, she attained both goals as she easily defeated four rivals to win the 55th running of the Grade 2, $157,300 Distaff Handicap for fillies and mares at six furlongs.
Although the margin of victory was a length and a quarter, Secret Gypsy was in hand for jockey Robby Albarado, who never turned his stick.
Secret Gypsy has now won four of five starts with Albarado, including her last three in a row. Overall, she has won five of nine starts for owners Richland Hill Stables and John Kuehl. In the Distaff, as the favorite of the crowd of 4,162, she returned $3.40.
“It was fantastic [to get a graded stakes win] and tough to get,” said trainer Ronny Werner. “We’ve been hitting a couple dead spots as far as getting her running on a regular basis so this was just super. She did break a little slow, for her, but Robby [Albarado] knows her well, works with her in the morning and did a good job easing her up and didn’t rush her off her feet.”
Zada Belle had actually made the lead from the rail, apparently suffered an injury near the half-mile pole. By that time, Secret Gypsy inherited the lead after the first quarter of 22.44 and went on to set a pace of 45.04 and 56.98. Both Distorted Passion and Royale Michele made late runs at her, but Albarado needed only his hands to coax her home in 1:10.01 on the fast inner dirt track.
Distorted Passion nosed Royale Michele for the place. Awesome Ashley was last, and Zada Belle was vanned off.
Moonshine Alice was scratched.