07/01/2017 10:38PM

Song From Above looks strong in Juan Gonzalez Memorial

Shane Micheli / Vassar Photography
Song From Above made the Juan Gonzalez Memorial her second consecutive victory.

PLEASANTON, Calif. - Just as she had in her debut, Song From Above ($6) turned in a professional effort and improved her career record to 2 for 2 as she won the $65,600 Juan Gonzalez Memorial at the Oak Tree at Pleasanton meeting at the Alameda County Fair.

The Cal-bred Lucky Pulpit filly owned and bred by Mr. and Mrs. Larry Williams got a confident ride from jockey Frank Alvarado, who made a winning move by taking the filly to the inside as she moved to the lead at the head of the stretch. There was no catching her, although first-timer Vinaka, who went off as the race favorite, did rally nicely for second.

Song From Above won the 5 1/2-furlong race by three lengths in 1:05.24 over Vinaka. Felony One, another Lucky Pulpit filly who was making her debut, ran third another one-half length back.

Five of the nine entrants were making their career debuts.

First-timer Sharona Sunset set the early pace with 22.35 and 46.33 fractions with Felony One and Vinaka sitting behind her.

Song From Above was fourth early.

"I told Frank there might be a lot of early speed with all those first-timers," winning trainer Steve Specht said. "I told him don't hold her down the backstretch. If she was up there, that was fine. I knew if she was close into the stretch, she'd be fine."

Alvarado sat cooly aboard the filly and opted to make his winning move inside on the turn and was in the lead as the field reached the stretch.

Irving Orozco rode Vanaka, who had been turning in fast works at Santa Anita for Pleasanton trainer Jeff Bonde.

"She ran really good," he said. "I knew (Song From Above) was tough. When I was coming around horses, she was moving pretty good, but (Song From Above) got through inside."

"The only time I got nervous was when Frank went inside, but that's the way it goes in racing, and sometimes it works out great," said Specht, who will point his filly to the 2-year-old stakes at Santa Rosa.

Song From Above earned $41,700 to lift her career earnings to $61,980.