Updated on 09/16/2011 7:05AM

Kalookan Queen takes Potrero Grande


ARCADIA, Calif. - The year of milestones continues for Kalookan Queen.

In January, she won her first Grade 1 in the Santa Monica Handicap. On Saturday, she beat males for the first time in the $197,700 at Santa Anita. She became the first filly or mare to win the Grade 2 Potrero Grande in the 20-year history of the race.

"We expected her to win today," said trainer Bruce Headley. "It feels great because she's a great filly."

Ridden by Alex Solis, Kalookan Queen was part of a favored entry with Rapidough and was forwardly placed throughout.

Kalookan Queen ($3.40) stalked Alyzig through an opening quarter-mile of 21.78 seconds, and stayed close even though Solis was forced to check his mount when Alyzig angled to the rail. On the turn, Kalookan Queen took the lead from a tiring Alyzig, but was quickly challenged by Elaborate and Ceeband. Ceeband sustained the rally, but could not catch the 6-year-old Kalookan Queen, who won by a half-length. She finished 6 1-2 furlongs in 1:15.31.

"She was so relaxed," Solis said. "When she saw them coming, I tapped her on the shoulder and she took off. I knew I had enough horse left."

Ceeband finished a neck in front of Elaborate, who was followed by Reba's Gold, Rapidough, Pie n Burger, Romanzo and Alyzig.

Elaborate, ridden by Chris McCarron, gave Headley a scare in midstretch.

"She looked relaxed and I knew she'd finish, but when McCarron is bearing down you know you better have a sharp horse," he said.

Kalookan Queen gave Headley his fourth win in the Potrero Grande in the last five years. Owned by Louis Asistio, Kalookan Queen has won 9 of 20 starts and $760,629.