News & Barn notes

Chad Brown-Trained Gerrymander Heads Field For Saturday’s $100,000 Lady’s Secret Stakes

June 08, 2023

After working with Gerrymander over the winter at Payson Park Thoroughbred Training Center in Indiantown, Fla., Luis Cabrera can confirm what the 4-year-old filly’s past performances clearly show.

“She’s a fast horse. Very fast,” said Cabrera, who oversees trainer Chad Brown’s division at Monmouth Park.

Unraced since May 6, and with an eye possibly on the Grade 3 Molly Pitcher on the Haskell States Day undercard on July 22, Gerrymander heads a field of eight fillies and mares, 3 and up, for Saturday’s $100,000 Lady’s Secret Stakes at the Jersey Shore track.

The mile and a sixteenth Lady’s Secret offers free entry and start fees to the Molly Pitcher for the winner.

“It’s a perfect spot for her,” said Cabrera. “With her running style the track at Monmouth Park should be a good fit for her.”

This much is certain: As a potential Molly Pitcher prep, this appears to be a softer landing place than usual for Gerrymander, who will look to return to her winning ways after having won just one of six starts the past two years. The lack of winning comes with an explanation: Seven of her 10 career starts have been in graded stakes company, including a win in the Grade 2 Mother Goose last year and a runner-up showing in the Grade 1 Frizette as a 2-year-old.

A year ago, the Brown-trained Search Results captured the Molly Pitcher Stakes.

Gerrymander, owned by Klaravich Stables, is a daughter of Into Mischief-Ruby Lips by Hard Spun. She has rarely had a competitive breather in her racing career.

The 34th edition of the Lady’s Secret Stakes does have its share of potential spoilers if Gerrymander can’t carry her speed, with Leader of the Band having won the Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks in 2021 while finishing second to Search Results in the Molly Pitcher a year ago.

Trained by John Servis, Leader of the Band won the Lady’s Secret a year ago as well. She returned for her 5-year-old campaign with a solid second-place finish in the Serena’s Song at Monmouth Park on May 14.

Two other contenders in the field have banked more than $400,000 in their careers: Don’t Get Khozy, trained by Elizabeth Dobles, and the Cherie DeVaux-trained Shotgun Hottie, who will be handled by leading rider Paco Lopez.

Brown has another entrant in the field in Signal From Noise, who has two wins and two seconds from four career starts. She is trying stakes company for the first time and has not raced since March 10.

Cabrera said both fillies are expected to ship in from Belmont Park the morning of the race.