01/24/2009 12:00AM

Leah's Secret caps career with Distaff win


ARCADIA, Calif. - What a way to end a career.

Leah's Secret, scheduled to be sent to Kentucky to be bred this winter, won her final start in Saturday's $500,000 Sunshine Millions Distaff at Santa Anita.

The Distaff was one of four Sunshine Millions stakes to be run at Santa Anita on Saturday, with the four others in the eight-race series for Florida-breds and California-breds run at Gulfstream.

Ridden by Eibar Coa, the Florida-bred Leah's Secret ($4.60) ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.58, winning by 2 1/4 lengths over California-bred Lady Railrider. Unforgotten, bred in Florida, finished third in the field of 12 fillies and mares. Spenditallbaby, a California-bred stakes winner, was pulled up on the first turn.

Leah's Secret was sixth on the backstretch and moved closer to the leader, Waveline, with a three-wide rally nearing the stretch. Leah's Secret took the lead at the eighth pole and pulled clear.

Owned by WinStar Farm and trained by Todd Pletcher, Leah's Secret has won 9 of 26 starts and $1,140,805. She ended her career with three consecutive stakes wins. Last fall, Leah's Secret won two Grade 2 stakes over a mile - the Chilukki Stakes at Churchill Downs and the Top Flight Handicap at Aqueduct.

Sprint: Georgie Boy back on track

It turned out the California-bred Georgie Boy needed a few tune-up races before resuming his outstanding career in the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint at Santa Anita.

Making his third start after a layoff, Georgie Boy won the fifth stakes of his 10-race career in the race for California-breds and Florida-breds. Ridden by Garrett Gomez, Georgie Boy rallied along the rail in the final furlong to run down pacesetter Machismo.

Georgie Boy ($6.60) ran six furlongs in 1:08.12, winning by 2 1/4 lengths.

The Florida-bred Machismo, making his second start in California after racing in Florida last year, held second, finishing 1 3/4 lengths in front of 26-1 outsider Partywithlarryz, a California-bred. John Sadler trains the second- and third-place finishers. In Summation, a slight 2-1 favorite, finished fifth, fading from contention in the final furlong.

Georgie Boy was as low as 6-5 in the early betting, but drifted up to 2-1 at post time.

Gomez kept Georgie Boy off the pace for the first half-mile, well behind Machismo, who set early fractions of 21.79 and 44.34 seconds. The field was into the stretch before Georgie Boy reached contention, quickly challenging and running past Machismo. Gomez kept Georgie Boy near the rail throughout.

"They were going along pretty fast," said Georgie Boy's trainer, Kathy Walsh. "He wants to come from off of it."

Owned by breeder George Schwary, Georgie Boy, 4, has earned $698,634. He won two Grade 2 stakes last year - the San Vicente Stakes and San Felipe Stakes - before going out of training with a back injury.

After being given the summer off, Georgie Boy was fourth in the Damascus Stakes in October and third in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes in December.

Oaks: Beltene steps up in big way

Beltene, making her stakes debut and first start in a field not restricted to claimers, remained unbeaten after three starts with an upset win in the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Oaks.

Ridden by Joel Rosario - his fourth winner of the afternoon - Beltene rallied from seventh in a field of nine 3-year-old fillies to catch an unlucky Hooh Why in the final strides. Beltene ($23.80) ran six furlongs in 1:09.16, winning by a head.

Yodelady O finished third, beaten two lengths. Hooh Why, confidently ridden in early stretch by Tyler Baze, looked like a winner passing the eighth pole, but could not hold off Beltene.

Dancing Erin, a 22-1 outsider, set the early pace of 21.86 and 44.90 seconds before fading from contention. Ten Churros, a stakes winner at Del Mar last summer, was near the lead for the first three furlongs, but could not sustain the threat and finished eighth. Emmy Darling, the 8-5 favorite, finished seventh.

Beltene and Yodelady O were bred in California; Hooh Why was bred in Florida.

Beltene beat maiden claimers at Hollywood Park on Dec. 11, and returned to win a starter allowance over six furlongs here on Jan. 10. Trained by Jack Carava for La Canada Stables, Beltene has earned $164,260.

Earlier in the week, Carava expressed concern about the relatively quick turnaround to Saturday's race, but the worry turned out to be unfounded.

"She's kind of stepped forward with every race," Carava said. "I thought this was a big step up, but I thought she was capable if she improved."