10/28/2017 8:15PM

Multiplayer earns first stakes win in Pike Place Dancer

Shane Micheli/ Vassar Photography
Multiplayer was a 1 1/4-length winner of the Pike Place Dancer Stakes on Saturday at Golden Gate Fields.

Favored Multiplayer ($4.20), the most experienced runner in the field, settled nicely early before unleashing a strong stretch run to capture the $75,675 Pike Place Dancer on Saturday at Golden Gate Fields.

The 2-year-old Giant's Causeway filly was already stakes-placed going one mile on turf, having made all three of her previous starts at the Pike Place Dancer distance. After winning her maiden at first asking in August at Del Mar, she had finished third in the Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf, then seventh in the Surfer Girl Stakes earlier this month at Santa Anita.

On Saturday, jockey Juan Hernandez had Multiplayer second behind early pacesetter Blessed Lady before letting her settle in fourth down the backstretch and around the second turn. Running against slower fractions than she had faced in Southern California, Multiplayer found herself closer than usual.

Blessed Lady, making her first start around two turns, offered little resistance when turning into the stretch. Hernandez moved Multiplayer to the inside and emerged with the lead by the eighth pole. She was kept to her task to defeat Cash Cannon – who had won her debut in a one-mile turf race here – by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:39.93. Neon Gypsy, who won her debut when sprinting here, was third, another 1 1/2 lengths back.

Owned and bred by George Krikorian and trained by Tim Yakteen, Multiplayer had improved her Beyer in each start.

The victory was worth $45,000 and increased her career earnings to $93,345.