Updated on 09/17/2011 5:30PM

Bay Meadows: Penny's Fortune wins Carmel Handicap


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Favored Penny's Fortune ($3.80) took back off the early pacesetters, stalked nicely down the backstretch then circled three wide on the second turn to take command as she scored her first career stakes victory in the $57,825 at Bay Meadows on Sunday.

Penny's Fortune checked behind pacesetting Secret Corsage and Lost Bride into the first turn of the one-mile turf stakes for 3-year-old fillies. She was always in a good striking position and looked a winner as soon as she began to move on the second turn. She beat Dawn's Angel by two lengths with Go Ask Daisy another head back, running the mile in 1:37.01.

The victory was the third of her career and second straight after capturing an $80,000 optional claimer at Del Mar on Aug. 15.

"I've been high on this filly since day one," winning rider Jose Valdivia Jr. said. "She likes to run close to the pace. I think she'll have a great campaign the rest of the year."

Owner Howard Lester, who paid $650,000 for her at the Keeneland Yearling Sale in September 2002, agreed with Valdivia that getting the filly closer to the pace has worked out well.

"She got off to a slow start," he said. "She stumbled when she broke her maiden in her debut. The next few starts, she would always be bumped or something. She was just like a tough-luck girl, but she's had a little running luck the past two races."

Penny's Fortune earned $30,600 for her third victory in nine starts, increasing her career earnings to $104,169.