04/14/2007 11:00PM

River's Prayer scores first graded stakes win


ARCADIA, Calif. - River's Prayer is unbeaten in three starts on Santa Anita's hillside turf course, but none of the wins were as important as Sunday's $108,700 Las Cienegas Handicap.

The Grade 3 Las Cienegas was River's Prayer's first win in a graded stakes, and the fifth stakes win of her 13-race career. Three of her stakes wins came against California-breds, one was in a minor stakes.

In the Las Cienegas, River's Prayer ($5.80) led throughout and finished a half-length in front of 6-5 favorite Indian Flare. Ridden by Clinton Potts, River's Prayer, 4, ran about 6 1-2 furlongs in 1:12.99.

"We just let her do her thing," trainer Paula Capestro said. "She likes to run. She’s a running machine."

Strong Faith, an 11-1 shot, finished third in the field of seven fillies and mares.

River's Prayer has won 6 of 13 starts and $457,253. Owned by a partnership, River's Prayer is unbeaten in two starts this year, having won the Irish O'Brien Stakes for California-breds last month.