07/06/2008 11:00PM

Conga Kaye pulls stakes upset in debut


PLEASANTON, Calif. - Conga Kaye ($48.40) stunned 1-5 favorite Broadway Hennessey when she rallied from last to win the $55,200 Juan Gonzalez Memorial Stakes for 2-year-old fillies in her debut Sunday at the Alameda County Fair.

Conga Kaye, a daughter of freshman sire Congaree, became his first stakes winner. She got a dream trip after breaking last and getting into stride slowly under jockey Frank Alvarado.

Alvarado guided her to the inside as she began to make up ground around the turn. He shifted Conga Kaye into the clear and she was able to wear down Broadway Hennessey, who dueled with Got Tobe Rio through swift fractionso f 21.57 and 44.66 seconds.

Conga Kaye won the 5 1/2-furlong race in 1:03.80, defeating Broadway Hennessey by 1 1/4 lengths. Got Tobe Rio, who set the pace and actually extended her lead in the lane ahead of Broadway Hennessey faded to third, another 2 1/2 lengths back.

"It's not like we expected to beat [Broadway Hennessey], but we thought she'd run a nice race," winning trainer John Anderson said. "You can get away with starting a maiden in a stakes at this time of year. I knew Juan Gonzalez as a kid, and this is a race our family has always wanted to win."

Owned by Jack Owens, Conga Kaye earned $30,800.

She is the second first-time starter in three years to win the Juan Gonzalez. Untouched Talent won the race in her debut in 2006.