Rafael Bejarano has been missing at Santa Anita. Missing from his
customary perch atop the rider standings, and missing this past
Thursday, Friday and, with the exception of the Grade III, $100,000
Autumn Miss Stakes, all of Saturday—his lone engagement, due to a
three-day riding suspension.
And, due to the fact the Autumn Miss is classified as a
designated race by track stewards, the Peruvian native made the best of
his lone opportunity this week, booting home 2-1 favorite Lady Ten,
while holding off a furious rally from 9-1 shot Customer Base and
Garrett Gomez, to win by neck, getting the Autumn Miss distance in
“This filly is very nice to ride, and easy to ride,” said
Bejarano. “She likes to be close to the lead so I was a little worried
in the beginning. She broke good from the gate but I knew there would
be a lot of speed so I tried to make sure to give her help from the gate
so she could find a position in the race.
“When I got my position at the first turn I just tried to hold
her a little bit, then let her run when we hit the top of the stretch…I
was waiting for Garrett’s horse late because I knew his filly would be
the only one running at the end…It ended up perfect for my filly.”
Lady Ten, a Kentucky-bred filly by Rock Hard Ten, has had
considerable success with Bejarano up, as he is now three for four when
paired with the Mercedes Stable homebred.
Lady Ten sat second to 26-1 shot Viva Carina, tracking fractions
of 23.19, 47.55, 1:11.55, and took the lead at the top of the stretch,
stopping the seven-furlong timer in 1:23.24.
Lady Ten paid $6.80, $4.20 and $2.80.
With the winner’s share of $60,000, Lady Ten extended her bankroll to $246,244, from an overall record of 11-4-5-2.
Customer Base, who broke from the outside post in the 10-horse
Autumn Miss, broke alertly, but was taken in hand early and was just
two-wide around the Club House turn. Gomez bided his time to the far
turn and asked his filly for her best mid way on the turn.
“I just couldn’t get to the winner in time,” said Gomez. “I
waited and waited, then weaved through some traffic, and when I turned
for home and swung out, she went after the leader but I just ran out of
Customer Base finished 1 ¼ lengths in front of Charm the Maker and paid $8.60 and $4.80.
Charm the Maker, off at 5-1 with Brice Blanc aboard, made a run
through the lane and was third-best, returning $4.00 while finishing a
half-length in front of Viva Carina.