Charles J. Cella’s Cyber Secret has proven to be a horse for the course, which is a good thing considering his owner is Oaklawn’s President. The 4-year-old Broken Vow colt earned his third straight win of the meet and his first career stakes with a hard-fought victory over Golden Ron in Saturday’s $150,000 Razorback Handicap (G3).
Breaking from post position three under jockey Robby Albarado, Cyber Secret encountered some brief traffic early, but then settled into a stalking position as Golden Ron led the field through an opening half mile in 47 4/5. The winner came three wide into the stretch and gamely battled all the way to the wire, getting up in the final stride to win by a head over the pacesetter in 1:44 4/5 for 1 1/16 miles over a fast track. The hard-knocking Atigun had to settle for third.
Alternation, the defending Razorback champ and 2-1 favorite, finished fifth in his first race since last October.
“At the half mile pole he was in the clear and it was his race to win or lose from that point,” said trainer Lynn Whiting. “He was able to grind them down. It was a good win, but I’ve never had a bad one. I’d think he’d deserve a chance in a race like the (Oaklawn Handicap (G2) April 13).”
The Razorback was the fifth win for Cyber Secret in 13 career starts and he has now earned $252,564. He returned $16.40, $9.80 and $5.60 at odds of 7-1.
Two races earlier, Jockey Calvin Borel earned career victory #5,001 when he guided Rose to Gold to a gate to wire victory in the $150,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) for 3-year-old fillies with aspirations of making the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) May 3.
Rose to Gold was quick out of the gate and got the jump on 2-5 favorite Flashy Gray, the expected pacesetter, and proceeded to set fractions of 23 3/5 and 47 3/5 for the first half mile. At the top of the stretch, the favorite made a brief bid at the leader, but Rose to Gold confidently shook free and drew off to win by 2 ¾ lengths in a final time of 1:45 for 1 1/16 miles. Dixie Belle Stakes winner American Sugar came from the back of the pack to get third.
“We had planned on sitting right off the pace, but she broke so sharp,” said Borel. “She has a lot of wind. She took it to them. That other one (Flashy Gray) is a nice filly. I had seen her races. Mike (Smith) tried to come to me at the 3/8ths pole, but my filly pulled away. I knew we would be double tough. She came home strong.”
Rose to Gold improved her record to four wins from six starts and has now earned $477,889. Despite her record and recent second in the Martha Washington Stakes, she was sent off at odds of 5-1 and returned $12.60, $3.40 and $2.80.
The win earned the Friends Lake filly 50 points towards entry into the Kentucky Oaks based on Churchill Downs’ criteria for making the field and brought her overall total to 64 points. She had also earned 10 points for winning the Delta Princess (G3) last November and four points for finishing second in the Martha Washington. Although her original plan was to also race in the $400,000 Fantasy (G3) April 10, trainer Sal Santoro has indicated that he may take the filly back to their home base at Calder Racecourse and train up to the Oaks.