Updated on 09/17/2011 10:54AM

Aunt Sophie wins Pleasanton stakes


PLEASANTON, Calif. ? Aunt Sophie ($10.20), untroubled by a speed bias on an extremely fast track that produced four track records, wore down pacesetting A B Noodle in the lane to win the Alameda County Fillies & Mares Handicap at the Alameda County Fair on Saturday.

The winning time in the 1 1/16-mile race was 1:40.34, eclipsing the 1:40 3/5 track record set by General Royal on July 11, 1999.

Winner of the Santa Clara Handicap at Bay Meadows in her previous start on May 3, Aunt Sophie was far off the early fractions set by A B Noodle. She was seventh in the field of eight, more than six lengths back at the half-mile pole.

She was moved out into the clear down the backstretch and began to move up while wide on the turn.

She seemed to have A B Noodle measured in the lane, finishing strong to win by two lengths. Favored Meguial was a non-threatening third.

Winning jockey Roberto Gonzalez, who put Aunt Sophie closer to the pace in the Santa Clara, was content to sit back even though speed had been playing well all day.

"I let her run her own race because there was so much speed," he said. "She's been off for a while so I didn't want to use her too much.

"On the backstretch, she drifted out, but she started running when dirt wasn't hitting her in the face. She got to the leader before I'd even asked her."

Winning trainer Jeff Bonde said he hoped someone would put some pressure on A B Noodle and felt Centerofattention applied just enough pressure to help his mare's cause.

"I wasn't concerned she was back so far because they put enough pressure on A B Noodle early," he said. "The only thing with her is you can't let her fall completely out of it early."

Bonde said Aunt Sophie had a slight temperature causing him to give her more time between races but added the extra rest probably helped.

Aunt Sophie earned $27,600 to increase her lifetime earnings to $182,805 with seven wins in 27 starts.

Earlier on the card, Call It set a new track record for one mile and 70 yards with a 1:38.01 clocking. Appaloosa and Arabian records were also set.