02/09/2013 8:04PM

Golden Gate Fields: California Oaks blanket finish goes to longshot Redressthebalance

Vassar Photography
The Irish-bred filly Redressthebalance, ridden by Christian Santiago Reyes, wins for the first time since arriving in the United States in the California Oaks.

ALBANY, Calif. – Unheralded longshot Redressthebalance proved best in the lane, scoring a victory in the $65,550 California Oaks where the top five finishers were separated by only one length on Saturday at Golden Gate Fields.

The Irish-bred Redressthebalance ($23.60), who won her first two starts last summer in Britain, scored her first victory in three U.S. starts for trainer Doug O’Neill.

Redressthebalance sat in the middle of the field of 10 fillies as favored Marks Mine, pushed by longest shot on the board Revive Me, set the pace. Redressthebalance raced a bit wide and came four wide into the stretch, where she put in a steady run and inched clear to win the 1 1/16-mile race by one-half length in 1:45.40.

Despite the early pressure by Revive Me, who faded to last, Marks Mine won a four-way photo for second, finishing a nose in front of Sweet Tess, who closed nicely along the rail. Macha was fourth, a head behind Sweet Tess and a neck in front of Butterfly Soul.

“The trainer told me to stay behind the leaders and make one run,” said winning jockey Christian Santiago Reyes. “I wanted to get her in position and then it was wait, wait, wait.

“When I asked, she responded. I’m very happy because that’s my first stakes win here.”

Abel Cedillo was proud of Marks Mine’s effort. He kept his filly a bit wide on the first turn when Revive Me went for the lead early. He was second into the backstretch trying to relax the 8-5 favorite, but she powered to the lead with no urging.

“Every race she tries hard,” said Cedillo. “I tried to get her to relax a little bit, but when she saw that filly in front of her, she wanted to go. I had to let her go instead of fighting her.”

Redressthebalance earned $30,550 for her first U.S. victory, improving her lifetime earnings to $48,800. She is owned by The Rutherford Group, Ltd., Joel Meredith, and Richard Pegum.