Secret Prospect soars, Riverland stumbles in duel State's top 3-year-old filly breezes in Politely Stakes

March 10, 1996|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Secret Prospect again proved the best.

Her heralded first matchup against highly regarded Riverland was over with a furlong to go and Maryland's top 3-year-old filly roared to the finish line alone yesterday in the $60,000 Politely Stakes at Laurel Park.

Secret Prospect, a slight favorite over Riverland, completed the seven furlongs in a modest 1: 25 2/5 and prevailed by a length and a half over out-of-town closer Hot Getaway.

For almost three-quarters of a mile, the anticipated duel shaped up nicely with Riverland taking the lead from the rail and Secret Prospect hanging with her doggedly.

But Riverland began drifting shortly after they turned for home and faded to finish eighth in her first attempt at the distance.

"I knew the one horse [Riverland] has all that speed and I didn't want her to get loose," said winning jockey C. H. Marquez Jr. "On the backside I just wanted to stay on top of her. They've been training my horse to rate off a little.

"She really rated nice and patiently and when I asked her, she just exploded. At the wire, she had plenty left."

Hot Getaway, based in Kentucky, rallied from sixth to get the place at 29-to-1 odds, beating Sportin' Amy, another long shot, by three parts of a length. Seeking Adventure was fourth at 76-to-1.

Jockey Mark Johnston said Riverland might have been confused in the race and will improve.

"She's never been hooked before when running on the front end and I think she didn't know what was happening," said Johnston. "I tried to get her to change leads. That's when she started ducking in and out. But she's OK and she will be better next time."

Secret Prospect, a daughter of Allen's Prospect as is Riverland, increased her lifetime earnings to $234,095 with her third straight victory and fifth in six outings.

The only loss in that stretch was by a neck to Ontherightwicket in the Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship. She is 7-for-12 lifetime, including five stakes wins and three seconds.

"This filly missed 11 days of training since her last race," trainer John Tammaro III said of Secret Prospect. "She got tangled up with another horse coming out of the gate in her last race and wound up with a temperature.

"She needed some time off. When she seemed like herself again and the temperature was gone, we just started training nice and easy. She's very game and showed she was ready to come back to work.

Faith Hahn, owner of Conover Stable with her husband, Robert, said there was some concern about Riverland going in.

"We knew we'd be going up against a pretty good filly, but we try to stay optimistic, and our girl came through for us," she said. "It certainly makes for a good trip home."

What's next for Secret Prospect? Tammaro said that has not been determined. The champion 2-year-old Maryland filly of 1995 is well on her way to another title. She is running out of opposition in this state.

Pub Date: 3/10/96

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