ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 31, 2014)–Under confident handling, 6-5 favorite My Fiona rallied at the rail around the far turn en route to an impressive three quarter-length win in Friday’s $200,000 Golden State Juvenile Fillies, for California-bred or sired 2-year-old fillies. Ridden by Rafael Bejarano and trained by Walther Solis, the daughter of Ghostzapper got the distance in 1:23.16.
Bred by Terry Lovingier and owned by Lovingier, Beckerle and Navarro, My Fiona paid $4.60, $3.20 and $2.60.
“I knew she likes to come from behind, but with the way speed is playing today, I didn’t want to be too far back,” said Bejarano, who rode the filly for the first time. “I put her where I felt comfortable. I decided to follow (eventual third place finisher) Stormy Adieu because I knew she would still be there in the stretch. I stayed close to the rail and when we got to the stretch, I finally got through and she showed me a big kick.”
My Fiona, who second in the six furlong Generous Portion Stakes Aug. 27 at Del Mar, picked up her third win from five starts. With the winner’s share of $110,000, she increased her earnings to $244,100.
“It means a lot to have this horse,” said Solis. “I have to be thankful to Terry (Lovingier). We’ve been together for eight years now and we’ve been lucky. Almost every year, we’ve been lucky and blessed to come up with a nice horse and this year, My Fiona is doing the job.”
Lovingier, who owns Lovacres Ranch in Warner Springs, was elated as well.
“Bejarano rode her great, and got a ground-saving race for her,” he said. “She’s a good filly. She’s been a good filly since the day she was born.”
The longest shot in the field at 42-1, Princess Bertrando, ridden by Corey Nakatani, was a close third going into the far turn, overhauled Stormy Adieu a furlong out and was second best, prevailing by 2 ¾ lengths for the place. She paid $21.40 and $11.60.
“She was second to the favorite, what more can you say?” said Nakatani. “She tried and put her heart out here and today we were second best. You never like to get beat, but she ran as good as I could get her to run.”
Ridden by Florent Geroux, Stormy Adieu pressed or set fractions of 22.58, 45.15 and 1:09.92. Off at 7-1, she paid $5.80 to show.