Saving all her energy for the deep stretch, Secret Message gave it all she had in the final seconds to pull away from the pack and win the $100,000 Pucker Up Stakes (G3T) Aug. 11 at Arlington International Racecourse.
With a swift break from the gate, In the Mood took an easy lead and set the pace for the 1 1/8-mile test. She set fractions of :23.76, :48.54, and 1:13.22 through the first six furlongs. On the outside raced 3-1 favorite Beyond Blame, who stalked the pace and pressed the leader as the 12-horse pack of 3-year-old fillies moved swiftly along the back of the course and came into the second turn.
“I think she’s going to get better and better,” winning trainer Graham Motion said after the race. “I think she loved the distance today and I think that there’s room for improvement.”