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Tribal Spy Sneaks Away in Irish O'Brien

Tribal Spy wins 2014 Irish O'Brien.
Photo: Benoit Photo
Tribal Spy, with Irving Orozco up, made an easy lead and coasted to a gate to wire win in Saturday’s $100,000 Irish O’Brien Stakes by one length, covering 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course in 1:12.59.

The running of the O’Brien, for older fillies and mares bred or sired in California, was significantly altered at the break when Ciao Bella Luna, a front-running sort who broke just to the outside of the winner in post five, reared up leaving the gate, resulting in Tribal Spy making a lonely lead through fractions of 22.36, 44.75 and 1:06.69.

Although last early, Ciao Bella Luna, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, was quickly into contention at the rail after a half mile, just three lengths off the lead.  “Ciao” kept to her task through the lane and finished second, a head in front of Dancingtothestars and Joe Talamo.

Off at 4-1 in a field of seven, Tribal Spy paid $10.40, $5.00 and $3.00.

“The five (Ciao Bella Luna) missed the break and obviously that was the competition, and not only that, she was the other speed in the race,” said Kitchingman.  “When that horse missed the break it made us the lone speed, which makes us awfully dangerous coming down the hill.”

A 4-year-old filly by Tribal Rule, Tribal Spy picked up $60,000 for her owners, Triple B Farms.  With the winner’s share, she increased her bankroll to $238,610.  Claimed 10 starts back out of a maiden $50,000 race on Feb. 21, 2013, and purchased privately prior to racing at Del Mar five back on Aug. 24, Tribal Spy registered her first stakes win and her fifth overall from 14 starts.

“Once I was able to control the pace, I was just hoping to hang on the final eighth of a mile,” said Orozco, 20, who registered his first-ever stakes win.  “She knows the turf well and she handled it well today.”

Kitchingman indicated that Tribal Spy would now likely be pointed to the Grade III, 6 ½ furlong turf Las Cienegas Stakes on April 12.

Trained by Peter Miller, Ciao Bella Luna was the second choice in the wagering at 5-2 and paid $3.80 and $2.60.

“My filly wins for fun if she breaks,” said Miller.  “She gets left and that changes everything.  I was supposed to be up on the pace close, and we don’t break, and that’s the end of the story.  The jock (Bejarano) said she reared up with him at the start.”

Third place finisher Dancingtothestars, off at 3-1 with Joe Talamo, had a clean trip and finished a neck in front of 2-1 favorite Could Be Trouble and paid $3.00 to show. 

Could Be Trouble, also trained by Miller, was ridden by Corey Nakatani and had no apparent excuses, finishing a nose in front of longshot Sudden Sunday.

 


 

 

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