06/29/2003 11:00PM

Lyin Goddess wins Juan Gonzalez in debut


PLEASANTON, Calif. - Lyin Goddess ($8.80) won the Juan Gonzalez Memorial Stakes in her debut Sunday at the Alameda County Fair.

Sitting behind odds-on favorite Nighthunter Two, who was part of a torrid three-way pace duel, Lyin Goddess saved ground, moved three wide into the stretch and won the five-furlong race by a head in 57.54 seconds. A Real Lady was third another one-half length back.

"The race went almost better than I thought," winning rider Roberto Gonzalez said. "There were three battling for the lead and when the outside horse (Cajun Purchase) bolted, I knew I could get just the trip I wanted. I saved ground because I saw nobody was coming outside. When I asked her to move, she did."

Trainer Jeff Bonde said he'd given James Vreeland's $110,000 Barretts May purchase an extra gate work because she had been breaking "sloppy" in the morning.

"She didn't break all that well, but this filly is a talented filly. She really bore down when it mattered."

Lyin Goddess was originally coupled with Uppity Kitty, a $125,000 Barretts purchase, but Bonde said he didn't want to run both against each other and made the decision to scratch Uppity Kitty after a coin flip.

Lyin Goddess earned $23,850 for her debut win.