Updated on 11/02/2013 5:19PM

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies: Ria Antonia placed first on disqualification of She's a Tiger

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Debra A. Roma
Ria Antonia (left) battles to the wire with She's a Tiger in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

ARCADIA, Calif. - In a race marred by fatal spill and a disqualification, longshot Ria Antonia was declared the winner of Saturday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita.

She’s a Tiger, who set all the fractions under Gary Stevens, drifted out late in the stretch and bumped slightly with Ria Antonia, who, under Javier Castellano, was persevering to the wire after moving into second around the far turn. She’s a Tiger finished the 1 1/16-mile race a nose in front, but the inquiry sign was soon illuminated.

After a lengthy review, the stewards disqualified She’s a Tiger, placing her second while elevating Ria Antonia, a 32-1 shot, to first.

[BREEDERS' CUP SATURDAY: Video replays and race results]

“Gary Stevens was inside, he drifted all the way to the six path, and he touched my horse very light on the shoulder,” Castellano said. “My horse lost momentum and I think that cost me the race.”

Stevens, said he felt bad for the connections of She’s a Tiger - owner Mark Dedomencio and trainer Jeff Bonde - but didn’t argue the call.

“I thought I rode the best filly," said Stevens, whose filly led by four lengths through six furlongs in 1:09.30. "She was waiting, we made some contact. His filly was getting really tired and it may have made it look more severe. My mare didn’t even react to it. Tough call for them to have to make up there and I’m not going to bitch about it.”

Meanwhile, Secret Compass broke down leaving the three-furlong marker and suffered a lateral condylar fracture and had to be euthanized. Her rider, John Velazquez, was taken to a local hospital and was expected to be off his mounts the remainder of the day, including Wise Dan, the reigning Horse of the Year who was scheduled to run in the Mile.

"From what I could see it looked like [Velazquez] was kind of in shock,” said Jim Barnes, the assistant to Bob Baffert, the trainer of Secret Compass. “He was sitting up got on the stretcher on his own power, was sitting up when they transported him. Legs, limbs looked good. Unless there was some kind of shoulder or collarbone injury he looked all right.”

Ria Antonia, a daughter of Rockport Harbor, was purchased privately following her third start, which came at Woodbine, by Ron Paolucci and Christopher Dunn for “under $200,000,” according to Paolucci.

“I love the way this filly covers ground,” said Paolucci, who bought the filly from owner-trainer Ricky Griffiths.

Paolucci turned her over to Jeremiah Englehart, a New York-based trainer best known as the trainer of graded stakes winner King Kreesa and the son of trainer Christopher Englehart. This was Englehart’s first Breeders’ Cup win.

Ria Antonia, who finished fifth in the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont on Oct. 5, was wearing blinkers for the first time at the suggestion of Paolucci. Englehart was hoping they would make her focus more. Englehart said the reports he was hearing all week from his assistant traine, Elizabeth Dobles were all positive.

“I thought she could run really well, but I thought she had a lot to prove,” Englehart said. “She’s proven she’s nice.”

Ria Antonia, a daughter of Rockport Harbor, paid $66.60 to win. The final time of the Juvenile Fillies was 1:43.02.

Rosalind, who stumbled at the start, finished third by 1 1/2 lengths over Sweet Reason, the 5-2 favorite who made a huge rally from last under Alex Solis but flattened out.

Alex Solis, the rider of Sweet Reason, said, “She tried her best and probably just got a little empty the last part.”
- additional reporting by Mike Welsch

Payoffs
$1 exacta (5-10), $369.60
50-cent trifecta (5-10-2), $1,855.15
$1 super (5-10-2-9), $14,718
$2 double (13-5), $400.80.
$1 pick-3 (3-13-5), $556.80