12/13/2015 9:11PM

Circling connects at 34-1 in Miss America

Shane Micheli/Vassar Photography
Circling (left), with Kyle Frey aboard, pays $70.20 for her win in the Miss America Stakes.

The Irish-bred Circling scored her first U.S. victory and her first stakes win Sunday in the $56,330 Miss America at Golden Gate Fields.

The 1 1/16-mile race was switched from turf to the main track because of a heavy morning rain. Circling, a 4-year-old Galileo filly, ran second in her lone try on a synthetic surface in a maiden race in Ireland.

Circling ($70.20) was the only runner able to make up any ground in the paceless race as Lucy in Diamonds set slow fractions of 25.26 seconds, 50.65, and 1:15 flat just in front of Journey On. Elegant Bel, the expected pacesetter, was scratched when the race was moved off the turf.

Circling was seventh through the first six furlongs before shifting out for clear running after turning for home.

Though Circling was the second longest shot in the field of 11, jockey Kyle Frey said he felt confident throughout.

“My filly was relaxed, sitting behind those horses very comfortably,”
 he said. “I knew if something came open, I was going to run them down. It was just a matter of getting a fortunate trip with someone fading so I could slip up in there.”

Journey On briefly got past Lucy in Diamonds late, but Circling was rolling and was one-half length in front to win in 1:45.26. It was her first win of the year. Lucy in Diamonds held on for third another 1 3/4 lengths back.

Emotional Kitten, the 3-2, favorite, wound up fourth despite having a clear path along the rail in the stretch.

Circling, owned by Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, and Susan Magnier, and trained by Neil Drysdale, earned $30,600 for the victory. She has earned $97,426 with two wins, three seconds, and three thirds in 15 starts.