04/11/2015 6:42PM

Home Journey wires field in Las Cienegas

Benoit Photo
Home Journey wins the Las Cienegas Stakes by a length Saturday at Santa Anita Park.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Home Journey had her mind on speed in Saturday’s $100,750 Las Cienegas Stakes at Santa Anita.

A 5-year-old mare, Home Journey ($8.40) took the lead a few strides away from the gate of the Grade 3 race on the hillside turf course and led throughout to win by a length over the 3-2 favorite Go West Marie.

“She has an awful lot of speed,” jockey Rafael Bejarano said. “I didn’t send her. I wanted to get her to relax. When we crossed the dirt, it was over. It was enough for me to win the race.”

Home Journey ran about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course in 1:13.09. She led by a half-length after a quarter-mile in 21.77 seconds and 1 1/2 lengths after a half-mile in 43.85 on the downhill portion of the course. The lead was 2 1/2 lengths with a furlong remaining and was less at the wire, even though the outcome never was truly in doubt.

“She settled and kicked, and the race was over when they came off the hill,” trainer Mike Puype said. “This is the best race of her life.”

Go West Marie beat Home Journey in the Sunshine Million Filly and Mare Turf Sprint on the hillside turf course in late January, Home Journey’s most recent start before Saturday. Go West Marie closed from sixth in the Las Cienegas to finish second, three-quarters of a length in front of the 7-1 Blingismything.

Theatre Star was fourth, followed by Heavens Stairway, Living the Life, Salsita, and Unforgettable U.

Home Journey, a California-bred by Good Journey, races for GGG Stable and Russell Sarno. She has won 5 of 12 starts and $279,920.