STAKES RECAP: Grade I Beverly D.

December 10, 2019


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 15, 2015) – Qatar Racing and Newsells Park Stud’s Secret Gesture crossed the wire first in the Grade I $700,000 Beverly D., but the British-bred mare’s celebration was cut short when an objection was lodged by Irad Ortiz, Jr., who was aboard third-place finisher Stephanie’s Kitten, for interference. After a lengthy stewards’ deliberation, Michael Kisber, Bradley Thoroughbreds and Nelson McMakin’s Watsdachances was elevated into the win after Secret Gesture was demoted to third on Saturday afternoon at Arlington International Racecourse. After breaking best of all in the field of nine, the daughter of Diamond Green closed resolutely over the rain-soaked yielding turf to finish 1¼ lengths short of Secret Gesture, nipping Chad Brown-trained stablemate Stephanie’s Kitten at the wire. The adjudged victory was the multiple graded stakes-winning mare’s first at the Grade I level and sixth of her 18-race career.

After Team Valor International’s 2.70-1 favorite and defending champion Euro Charline surprisingly set early fractions of 47.67, 1:13.04 and 1:38.31, Secret Gesture completed the 1 3/16-miles distance in 1:57.36. Sent off at 8.90-1, Watsdachances returned $19.80, $7.20 and $5.20 as the public's sixth wagering choice, earning $407,400 to boost her career bankroll to $1,146,294. The Million was her 6th victory in 18 starts.

“You can’t make this game up, with the rainstorm we got,” said jovial jockey Joe Bravo, who won his first International Festival of Racing event. “They had her ready to run and she just loved the distance.”

Jamie Spencer, aboard Secret Gesture, refused comment.

Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Chad Brown-trained Stephanie’s Kitten returned $4.40 and $3.40 as the 3.70-1 second choice. Secret Gesture returned $4.40 to show. Euro Charline was relegated to fourth under Jose Lezcano in her attempt to become the first two-time winner of the event. Well-regarded Aidan O’Brien trainee Wedding Vow finished a half-length astern her in fifth under Colm O’Donoghue.

“The winner (Secret Gesture) kept coming out,” said Ortiz. “It definitely cost me second.”

“My filly really broke sharp and never relaxed,” Lezcano said of Euro Charline. “She just pulled me the whole way and when the other ones came I tried to give her a kick, but she was just too tired.”

“She gave me a great one, (but) she’s too good of a mover,” O’Donoghue said. “The ground was too soft and too deep for her.”

Carla Bianca and Lacy completed the order of finish. Both Mango Diva and Maid On a Mission were eased. Lots o’ Lex was a late scratch.

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