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Favored Leah's Secret Takes Chicago Handicap

Churchill Downs Communications | 06/29/2008 #

A patient ride by Arlington Park leading jockey Rene Douglas was instrumental in getting  WinStar Farm LLC's Leah's Secret up in the final strides to capture the Grade III $144,500 Chicago Handicap on Saturday at Arlington Park.  The Todd Pletcher-trained daughter of Tiger Ridge covered the seven furlongs in 1:22.17 over the Polytrack and as the 8-5 favorite returned $5.20, $3 and $2.60.

The win avenged the 5-year-old mare's recent defeat in the nine-furlong Grade III Arlington Matron here last month though Douglas thinks the turn back in distance for the Chicago Handicap was oly part of the reason her success Saturday.

“She likes this seven-furlong distance but she can go farther," Douglas said.  "I decided to let her sit and get herself together and everything went perfect after that when I asked her.”

 Saturday's victory was the first since 2006 for Leah's Secret but her seventh in 21 starts overall.  The $87,000winner's share boosted her bankroll to $632,939.

Tequuilas Dancer, who had a brief lead at the eighth pole, was caught late and had to settle for the place spot in the 10-horswe field, paying $5 and $3.60.

Her jockey, Tracy Hebert, offered no excuses, "My trip went good and she did what I wanted her to do.  Bottom line – she just got outrun.”

It was another 2 3/4-lengths back to Dhanyata, who paid $5.

Sweet Ambition, Acadia Breeze, Indescribable, Mini Sermon, Pro Pink, Featherbet and Starry Pie completed the order of finish.