05/19/2008 12:00AM

Misty Ocean wins Golden Poppy


Misty Ocean ($5.40), a bit rank while opening a big lead early, turned back a challenge from favored Royale Action approaching the quarter pole and scored a decisive victory in the $75,000 Golden Poppy Stakes at Golden Gate Fields.

Stepping up off a May 2 allowance turf victory at Bay Meadows, Misty Ocean quickly made the lead from the rail in the 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies. Jockey Frank Alvarado let her go early, allowing her to relax naturally after opening a four-length lead through the opening half-mile.

Royale Action, who sat second, tried to move up on the second turn and closed to within 1 1/2 lengths, but Misty Ocean responded when Alvarado let her go again, quickly opening up. She defeated Bitterbutsweet by 5 1/2 lengths in 1:43.73. Shes a Lucky Wager was third with Royale Action fading to fifth in the field of six.

Misty Ocean, by Stormy Atlantic and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, earned $45,000 for her third career win and first stakes victory. Her career earnings for owner-breeder Jim Plemmons are $79,712.