Paris Secret and Kazushi Kimura too much to handle in the Providencia (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)
Santa Anita Press Box
ARCADIA, Calif.— Reluctant to load but ready to run, Phil D’Amato’s Irish-bred Paris Secret, in her second stateside start, rallied with newly re-arrived Kazushi Kimura to take Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Providencia Stakes at Santa Anita by three-quarters of a length while getting a mile and one eighth on turf in 1:47.50.
Last by about seven lengths behind Broadway Girls as the field headed up the backstretch, Paris Secret was ridden into contention at the rail and was two lengths off the lead at the three-furlong pole. From there, Kazushi tipped three-deep to engage 3-5 favorite Ancient Peace and Broadway Girls and overhauled them both a furlong out while fending off a late run from longshot Pleasant Wave to get the money.
“Today she didn’t want to get in the gate, (she) was a little bit negative,” said Kimura, who rode Paris Secret in her U.S. debut here on March 18 and returned to ride this weekend from his full-time base at Woodbine Racecourse in Toronto. “She threw her head a little bit (at the break). But today we got more distance going a mile and one-eighth. That might be the best distance for her. I didn’t want to be too far back.”
Fourth in the one mile turf China Doll Stakes on March 18, Paris Secret was off at 3-1 in a field of five sophomore fillies and paid $8.20, $4.00 and $6.00. (With Ancient Peace finishing out of the money, all show prices were inflated).
“She’s still a green filly,” said D’Amato, who continues to have a Midas Touch with Irish imports. “I have to give a hand-out to Mr. Kimura. I think he got to know her last time and it definitely helped us get the job done today. She’s a filly with nice raw talent and I think we’re going to see good things from her down the line when she matures and gets more professional.”
D’Amato then addressed the machinations of getting Kimura back from Canada to ride today.
“Just happenstance,” he said. “Pure luck. But I’m thankful it happened. He was down here to ride another stakes race (today’s ninth race, the Grade II Santa Maria, with John Sadler’s Kirstenbosch) and it just lined up where this stakes landed on the same day and I was able to reunite her with him.”
Owned by Strand Beach, LLC, Paris Secret, a daughter of Zoffany, notched her second win from three overall starts and her first-ever stakes win. With the winner’s share of $60,000, she increased her earnings to $75,390.
Ridden for the first time by Diego Herrera, Pleasant Wave made a nice late run but was no match for the winner, finishing 4 ¼ lengths in front of Broadway Girls. The biggest price at 19-1, Pleasant Wave paid $8.20 and $11.60.
Off at 7-2 with Edwin Maldonado, Broadway Girls fought off an unsettled Ancient Peace by a head for third money and paid $7.00 to show.
As for Ancient Peace, who was ridden by Juan Hernandez, she very keen early as she stalked Broadway Girls around the first turn and never seemed fully comfortable in a disappointing effort.
Fractions on the race were 23.22, 46.15, 1:10.00 and 1:34.85.
Racing resumes on Sunday with first post time for a 10-race card at 1 p.m. Admission gates will open at 11 a.m.