Marks Mine Turns Tables On Ciao Bella Luna In Golden Gate Debutante

Marks Mine Turns Tables On Ciao Bella Luna In Golden Gate Debutante

     Marks Mine, defeated by Ciao Bella Luna in an allowance race on Oct. 25, turned the tables on the heavily-favored filly in the $60,550 Golden Gate Debutante Saturday at Golden Gate Fields.

     Marks Mine led from start to finish in the six-furlong feature for 2-year-old fillies and held off Ciao Bella Luna down the stretch to score by 1 1/4 lengths in a quick 1:09.78.  Ciao Bella, the 2-5 favorite, took second by 3 1/4 lengths over My Lil Shamrock.
     Marks Mine and My Lil Shamrock are both trained by Steve Specht, who gave jockey Abel Cedillo simple riding instructions for Marks Mine.

     “He (Specht) told me to go and not look back,” said Cedillo, who has ridden Marks Mine in all four of her starts.  

      Marks Mine enjoyed a clear lead while running the opening quarter mile in :22.73 and the half-mile in 45.46.

     “I was just hoping to go in :22 and change or :23 (for the first quarter mile) and we did,” said Cedillo.  “She was relaxed and going easy.  At the quarter pole I said, ‘Wow, I’ve got a lot of horse.’  When she switched leads in the stretch she took off.”

     Ciao Bella Luna, who rallied from off the pace to win her first two starts impressively under jockey Eric Camacho, was ridden in the Golden Gate Debutante by Hall of Famer Russell Baze. 

     “I thought the race set up like we expected,” said Baze, who had Ciao Bella Luna positioned in third through the first four furlongs of the race.  “I had a clean trip.  I went a little wider than I would have preferred.  She was giving it her all, she just couldn’t catch her.”

     Marks Mine, a California-bred filly by Benchmark, is owned by her breeders, Larry and Marianne Williams.  The consistent Marks Mine has two wins, a second and a third in four career starts and Saturday’s payday of $39,350 increased her earnings to $76,530.

     “In the beginning I thought she would be a useful horse but she’s got gas, so that’s why I started her in a maiden-allowance,” said Specht of Marks Mine.  “The last time (Oct. 25) that favorite only ran us down in the final 100 yards, and my filly hadn’t run since Santa Rosa (on Aug. 11).  She’s pretty intense; she goes for it.”

     Frey Will Miss Eight Days Due To Suspensions  --  Jockey Kyle Frey will miss eight days of racing at Golden Gate Fields (Dec. 7-9, 14-16, 26, 28) due to a pair of riding suspensions he received from the board of stewards.

     Frey received a three-day suspension for “failure to make the proper effort to maintain a straight course in the stretch and causing interference” while aboard Meant To Be Mia in the seventh race Thursday.  He received a five-day benching for “altering course without sufficient clearance around the far turn and causing interference” aboard North Star Fame in the fifth race Friday.

     Golden Gate Fields is a Stronach Group company, North America's leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator.  The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness.  The company is one of North America's top race horse breeders through its Adena Springs operation.  The company owns and operates AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology, and XpressBet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service.  The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horseracing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America's premier supplier of virtual online horseracing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.