Separate Forest used her substantial speed to wire the field in the $100,000 Las Cienegas (G3) at Santa Anita on April 9, giving the 4-year-old daughter of Forestry the first stakes win of her career. [WATCH RACE]
The filly has had some previous success on the uniquely configured 6 1/2-furlong turf course, winning two of her previous three starts there this meet, including one just a seven days ago.
Separate Forest was facing some foes that also had a fondness for the trip, including the favorite Unzip Me, who won this race last year. When the gates opened, Separate Forest sprang to the front from her outside post, quickly opening up a length and a half in the first quarter mile. She was still in front by two in the last sixteenth, when Unzip Me tried to reel her in, but Separate Forest had enough left to win by a neck in 1:12.64.
"Obviously, Unzip Me was the horse to beat," winning trainer Doug O'Neill said. "You always want to be on the outside down the hill. I can’t believe she won it. It’s amazing. We really didn’t have any intention of coming back in a week but she was doing great and to win is just unbelievable.”
Separate Forest won for the fifth time in nine lifetime starts and boosted her earnings to $161,500. She is owned by Suarez Racing, WestsideRentals.com, and Darin Tsukashima.
Diamond A Racing bred the winner in Kentucky and raced her for the first five races of her career. She was claimed by her present connections on Jan. 14.