07/27/2013 8:55PM

Santa Rosa: Catrageous celebrates owner's birthday by winning Wine Country

Vassar Photography
Catrageous, claimed for $25,000 in June, wins the Wine Country Stakes under Juan Hernandez.

SANTA ROSA, Calif. -- Mary Tucker got herself a nice birthday present when Catrageous, a $25,000 claim on June 30, won the $55,450 Wine Country Stakes in her first start for the birthday celebrant Saturday at the Sonoma County Fair.

Catrageous ($18.80) sat off the pace of favored Life Is a Stone before making a strong rail rally in the lane to pull off the upset in the 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies.

Life Is a Stone set seemingly comfortable fractions without being heavily pressured in the race, going the first six furlong in 1:16.81. She seemed in control of the race turning into the stretch.

But Catrageous, who had received a ground-saving trip from Juan Hernandez, had moved closer on the turn and into the lane. She was still one length behind at the eighth pole but was gaining momentum. She quickly wore down the favorite and pulled clear by 2 1/4 lengths at the wire in a winning time of 1:48.81.

Life Is a Stone was second, one length in front of Sassy Brunette.

"Nobody wanted to go after [Life Is a Stone]," said Hernandez. "My filly was behind but close, and I saw the rail was open. I waited for space, and when it opened up I moved there. She finished well."

Samuel Calvarrio, who saddled the winning horse for Armando Lage, said, "Armando was always pointing to this race. That's why he didn't run at Pleasanton or Sacramento. The filly was looking better every day, and we were watching her come to her peak."

Catrageous, a daughter of Tale of the Cat, earned $32,100 while winning her stakes debut. She has now earned $90,010 with a record of 2 wins, 4 seconds and 2 thirds in 11 career starts.