With Mike Smith aboard in the one-mile turf event for 3-year-old fillies, Tasha’s Miracle, after wresting the lead from pace-setting stablemate Dawn Before Dawn in deep stretch, gamely withstood the robust rail rally by Gorgeous Goose, ridden by Rafael Bejarano.
Sadler held a strong hand entering the Ramser. His grip seemed to become even stronger when Sweeter Still, the 3-1 second choice behind 5-2 Tasha’s Miracle on the morning line, was a late defection.
The public made Tasha’s Miracle, despite a six-race losing steak against stellar competition, the 13-10 favorite entering the gate with Dawn Before Dawn next at 2-1. The field was reduced to five by three late scratches.
The victorious daughter of Harlan’s Holiday paid $4.60, $3 and $2.60. Gorgeous Goose paid $4.20 and $2.40 while Dawn Before Dawn returned $2.40 to show.
Sadler said he had to sweat the photo. “It was very, very tight,” he observed. “When I watched the race, it was hard to tell. But when I saw it in slo-mo, it looked like we got the bob.”
With two prime contenders, Sadler had carefully discussed strategy with his two riders. Dawn Before Dawn was expected to get the early lead. “I told Mike Smith it looked like he would by laying second, and he was,” said Sadler. “The race went like it looked like it would on paper. The wild card was that horse (Gorgeous Goose) that ran so good on the inside.”
“I thought I had won,” noted Smith, “but I wasn’t sure because the other filly (Gorgeous Goose) was way down inside.”
Sadler’s quest for a third consecutive training title follows like accomplishments at Hollywood Park and Del Mar earlier this year.
Second twice and third once in her previous three starts, all graded stakes, Tasha’s Miracle registered her first victory since taking the Grade III Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar in August of 2007.
In her eleventh career start, Tasha’s Miracle earned $63,660 for Budget Stable and Team Valor. She expanded her record to 3-3-2 and her career bankroll to $398,452.
Oak Tree offers a nine-race card on Sunday featuring the return of unbeaten Japanese star Casino Drive in an allowance event as he prepares for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Oct. 25. Included on the program that starts at 12:30 p.m. is the $75,000 Lure Stakes.