01/01/2006 12:00AM

Secret Corsage captures Bay Meadows Cotillion


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Heavily favored Secret Corsage ($3) rated nicely to win Northern California's first stakes of 2006, defeating three rivals in the $73,125 Bay Meadows Cotillion on Sunday.

The victory was her third straight stakes win and marked the sixth straight stakes win for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Hollendorfer has won 10 of the past 14 stakes run in Northern California.

"I'm happy to get off to a good start," Hollendorfer said.

Secret Corsage held a one-length lead over First Draft down the backstretch of the 1 1/16 mile race. She pulled away from that one in the lane but was under vigorous urging to hold off the late-running Vencedora Amiga, who rallied from last to finish three-quarters of a length behind. The winning time was 1:43.49 over a muddy track.

"She's a pretty good horse to ride," Hollendorfer said. "Russell (Baze) helped himself in the race when he slowed things down the first quarter. Our filly had more left at the end."

Secret Corsage won the Alameda County Fillies & Mares Handicap and the Emerald Downs Breeders' Cup Distaff last summer. She ran third in a comeback on the turf at Golden Gate Fields on Dec. 15.

The 5-year-old mare is winless on the turf but 4-for-8 with three seconds over the Bay Meadows main track.

She earned $41,250 to increase her career earnings to $283,980 with seven wins in 22 starts.