Velez rides first stakes winner as Warren’s Showtime takes Surfer Girl

Benoit Photo

by Steve Andersen
ARCADIA, Calif. – Warren’s Showtime gave apprentice jockey Jorge Velez his first stakes victory with an upset win in Sunday’s $100,351 Surfer Girl Stakes for 2-year-old fillies on turf at Santa Anita.

The win was the first for California-based stallion Clubhouse Ride, from his second crop to race.

The longest shot in a field of six, Warren’s Showtime rallied on the rail to win the one-mile turf race by three-quarters of a length over 7-2 Croughavouke, finishing in 1:35.06.

“I’m excited,” said a beaming Velez. “I’m so excited.”

Warren’s Showtime closed from fourth in the final quarter-mile to take the lead in the final furlong.

Croughavouke, second in the Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf on Sept. 2, finished a neck in front of 3-2 Mind Out, who was followed by Saavy Gal, Cholula Lips, and Yesterdayoncemore.

Saavy Gal set the pace, but could not sustain her lead in the final furlong, finishing two lengths behind the winner. Yesterdayoncemore, the 3-2 favorite who won the Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf, faded from third in the final half-mile.

“She was empty today,” jockey Victor Espinoza said. “She did not fire.”

Trainer Craig Lewis said a decision will be made in coming days whether Warren’s Showtime will be considered for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf here on Nov. 1 or the $200,000 Golden State Juvenile Fillies for California-breds at seven furlongs the same day.

Owned by Ben and Sally Warren, Warren’s Showtime has won 2 of 4 starts and earned $104,271. She has excelled on turf, having won a maiden special weight race for California-bred fillies on Aug. 21 before finishing a troubled eighth in the Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf, her stakes debut.

Lewis dismissed that result before Sunday’s race, saying Warren’s Showtime lost all chance when racing in traffic on the turn.

“She was knocked sideways going into the clubhouse turn and was five or six wide,” Lewis said. “She got outpositioned. When you get outpositioned on the turf course, you don’t win.”

Sunday, Velez had Warren’s Showtime well placed throughout leading to a milestone victory.

The 21-year-old jockey began riding in California earlier this year and was the leading rider at the Los Alamitos summer meeting and the Los Angeles County Fair meeting there last month.