FAVORED WISHING GATE TAKES GRADE III AUTUMN MISS STAKES BY 1 ¼ LENGTHS; WITH STEVENS AT CONTROLS, SHE GETS MILE ON TURF IN 1:34.67

PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $88,698 INTO SUNDAY, TOTAL POOL SHOULD EXCEED $700,000

ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 26, 2013)—Favored Wishing Gate overcame an outside post and a tardy start to register an authoritative 1 ¼ length win over 10 sophomore fillies in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Autumn Miss Stakes under Gary Stevens, as the Tom Proctor trainee covered one mile on turf in 1:34.67.

With Santa Anita’s temporary rail set at 24 feet, Wishing Gate broke a step slow from post 10 and was three wide throughout as she tracked fractions of 23.50, 48.17 and 1:11.66, all set by longshot Journey On, who was ridden by Martin Pedroza from post 11.

“I hit the side of the gate pretty hard leaving there,” said Stevens. “I rarely hear the announcer going into the first turn, but I think I heard Trevor (Denman) say ‘they’re flying up front,’ and I’m thinkin’, ‘No they’re not!’ since I had her well in hand. She’s a good filly, real push-button. I can put her where I want.

“She was real light-mouthed before and Tom changed some equipment, and she’s trained well…Once we got out of the first turn I was pretty confident. She gives you that feeling throughout the race. She’s got a nice turn of foot.”

Owned and bred in Florida by Leonard Lavin’s Glen Hill Farm, Wishing Gate provided the veteran trainer/jockey combo of Proctor and Stevens their fifth win of the Autumn Meet, and their second added-money tally.

“We were going to kind of send her a little bit and then she broke a tad slow,” said Proctor. “Since I brought her to California (this past July at Del Mar) she’s been a really nice filly. Her mother (Rich in Spirit) was a nice mare. I might run her next in the Matriarch at Hollywood Park (Grade I, mile turf on Dec. 1).”

A winner of the Grade II, one mile turf San Clemente Handicap July 21, Wishing Gate was then second in her most recent start, the Grade I, 1 1/8 miles turf Del Mar Oaks on Aug. 17.

Dispatched at 7-5, Wishing Gate, a 3-year-old filly by Indian Charlie, paid $4.80, $3.60 and $3.40. With the winner’s share of $60,000, she increased her earnings to $305,344.

Sent from the outset, Journey On, off at 12-1, stayed gamely in the latter stages.

“I was going straight to the front with the post position we had,” said Pedroza. “I thought I was going to go get an ice cream for a minute, I was so far out (into the Club House turn). I had to break the way I did, since the turn is right there. If I didn’t do that I would be 11-wide…She’s a good filly, especially considering she (ran) just 13 days ago (an allowance win at Santa Anita Oct. 13).”

Journey On paid $10.40 and $8.00.

Charlie Em, off at 14-1, finished willingly with Corey Nakatani and ended up a head in front of second choice Need You Now for third money. Charlie Em paid $7.00 to show.

There is a Pick Six carryover into Sunday of $88,698, and it is expected Sunday’s total pool will exceed $700,000. The Pick Six will be comprised of races four through nine.

First post time for Sunday’s nine-race program is at 1 p.m.