Making her first stakes start against open company on a picturesque Father's Day at Belmont Park, Alpha Delta Stable's Ancient Secret rallied late in the stretch to hold off 16-1 longshot Thundering Sky to remain undefeated in her third career start in Sunday's $100,000 Wild Applause for 3-year-old fillies.
Breaking from post 7 with Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard, the Chad Brown-trained filly left the gate as the 3-1 second-choice to her highly regarded stablemate Ava's Kitten, and comfortably sat back in fourth position as Summer Reading outpaced Saharan to lead the field of 10 through fractions of 23.21 seconds for the opening quarter-mile with the half going in 47.08.
As the field turned for home at the quarter-pole, Thundering Sky came from off the pace and unleashed a massive drive to the wire. Ancient Secret, who was tipped out four-wide from the rail, was set down in the late stretch and surpassed the new leader in the final jumps to win by a head and complete the one-mile distance on the Widener Turf Course in a winning time of 1:33.92.
“She's a very handy filly,” said Ortiz, Jr. “She broke well and I just let her put me where she wanted to be. Chad [Brown] told me she's a New York-bred and she's a nice filly. When I asked her, she had plenty of run.”
Returning $8.30 for a $2 win wager, the $225,000, 2-year-old in training purchase boosted her career earnings to $139,200.
“I thought she ran great,” said Cherie DeVaux, assistant to Brown. “She has always trained very well. We've had high hopes for her all along, so it's nice to see her step up in open company in her third race. She really ran to the way she's been presenting herself. Being a New York-bred and having her for the whole summer is exciting”
Following Thundering Sky in second were Welcoming, Ava's Kitten, Tin Type Gal, Summer Reading, Heaenly View, Baciami Piccola, Elegant Supermodel, Saharan. Main track only entrant Estelle was scratched from the race.
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