02/19/2011 8:34PM

La Sorpresa repeats in Sydney Valentini


La Sorpresa handed Cali Baby her first defeat since August on Saturday, when she successfully defended her title in the $100,000 Sydney Valentini Handicap at Sunland Park. La Sorpresa won by 3 3/4 lengths over Desert Tap, while Cali Baby finished another neck back in third as both the odds-on favorite and the 125-pound highweight.

La Sorpresa ($16.40) broke next to last in the Sydney Valentini, which was a one-mile race for fillies and mares bred in New Mexico. She advanced on the final turn, overtook leader Cali Baby in the stretch, and went on to cover the distance on a track rated fast in 1:37.51.

Leading jockey Alejandro Medellin was aboard La Sorpresa for Gallegos Del Norte Racing and trainer Jose Gonzalez Jr.

Cali Baby came into the Sydney Valentini off four straight stakes wins, with her streak having started in August in the $40,000 Carlos Salazar at the Downs at Albuquerque.