Sunday, September 27, 2020
HALLANDALE BEACH - Princess Secret didn’t sweep the Florida Sire Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. But she did the next best thing, taking the final two legs, including Saturday’s $400,000 My Dear Girl Division.
The 2-year-old daughter of Khozan ran down Restofthestory in the stretch of the 1 1/16-mile race to take the third and final leg of the annual fixture for offspring of registered Florida sires.
“This is what horse racing’s all about,” said winning trainer and owner Daniel Pita. “It’s about trying to get the one horse that will put you on the map.”
With Miguel Vasquez in the irons, Princess Secret settled into a stalking position, several lengths behind a determined Restofthestory, before making her move on the final turn and pulling off late to win by a half-length.
“She fights every time. She’s all heart,” Pita said. “The pace set up exactly how we thought it would be. We knew Restofthestory was going to be the pace setter. It was smart of Miguel to sit back and save the horse for the end.”
Big Rings, the 6-5 favorite, ran third.
Princess Secret was making her fifth career start, and her first in a two-turn event. She had finished second to Go Jo Jo Go in the first leg of the series, the Desert Vixen, on Aug. 1 before winning the second leg, the Susan’s Girl, on Aug. 29. She has never finished worse than second in any of her races and now has career earnings of $430,300 – not bad for a filly who was a $30,000 yearling purchase by Pita out of the Journeyman Stud consignment at the OBS October sale in 2019. She was bred by Brent and Crystal Fernung, owners of Journeyman Stud, where Florida's leading sire, the immensely successful Khozan, stands.
“Every single time she shows up, and you can see what kind of special filly she is,” Pita said.
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The question now becomes whether Pita decides to continue racing her this year or prefers to give her some time off to freshen up and prepare for a 3-year-old campaign. A possible date in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Keeneland in November has not been ruled out.
“She’s run hard all summer,” Pita said. “We won’t know, probably, until the beginning of next week if she’s going to remain in training for the rest of the year. She probably deserves a rest. She’ll tell us if she can give us another effort and, believe me, Keeneland’s in the back of my mind a little bit. But I’m not going to commit to anything just yet.”