SAGEBRUSH QUEEN HUGS RAIL TO WIN $75,000 DESERT STORMER STAKES; CALIFORNIA-BRED FILLY RIDDEN BY MALDONADO & TRAINED BY GUTIERREZ

ARCADIA, Calif. (June 15, 2014)–With 4-5 favorite My Sweet Addiction drifting out badly turning for home, longshot Sagebrush Queen shot through a large opening at the rail a quarter mile out and went on to win Sunday’s $75,000 added Desert Stormer Stakes at Santa Anita by one length, covering six furlongs under Edwin Maldonado in 1:09.75.

Trained by Jorge Gutierrez, California-bred Sagebrush Queen was making her first start in a stakes and was the biggest price in a field of five fillies and mares at 16-1.

“I saw My Sweet Addiction was having trouble on the far turn and literally blew the turn and she took the other filly (Doinghardtimeagain) with her so that helped me a lot,” said Maldonado. “At first I thought he (Mike Smith, aboard My Sweet Addiction) was going to shut the hole down at the rail, but then he went and did the opposite blowing the turn. She was certainly the one to beat today.”

A 4-year-old filly by Unbridled Energy, Sagebrush Queen paid $34.40, $10.40 and $3.20. Owned by Larry Konecne and Sandy Mattei, she improved her record to 9-4-2-0 and with the winner’s share of $60,780, increased her earnings to $189,770.

“I’ve won stakes races at Hollywood Park and Del Mar, but this is my first one here at Santa Anita,” said owner Konecne. “It felt great. There’s nothing like winnin’!”

Trainer Gutierrez noted that Sagebrush Queen could be pointed to the 6 ½ furlong, Grade II Great Lady M. Stakes at Los Alamitos on July 12.

Next to last after a half mile, Clearly Confused saved ground around the turn and was gaining good ground late to finish second, 4 ¼ lengths in front of My Sweet Addiction. Off at 6-1, Clearly Confused paid $5.80 and $3.00.

Heavily favored at 4-5, My Sweet Addiction never threatened through the lane and finished third, 3 ¼ lengths in front of Warren’s Veneda. My Sweet Addiction paid $2.20 to show.

Racing will resume at Santa Anita on Thursday, with first post time at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.