Separate Thoughts Wins La Pacifica

Good break makes a big difference for Separatist filly.

May 13, 2012

It turns out that less was more for Theresa and Edward DeNike’s Separate Thoughts in her preparation work for Sunday’s $25,000 La Pacifica Handicap at Los Alamitos.

“She flipped in the starting gate two races ago (on March 17),” trainer Pat Visscher said. “I took her to the starting gate right after that and I schooled the heck out of her. We entered her back on April 22 and she just didn’t break. I think it was because of all the schooling in the gate. Sometimes horses that get schooled a lot to stand in the gate think that’s all they have to do in there. This time around I didn’t do any schooling with her and she broke much better tonight.”

Ridden by Antonio Alberto from post number 10, the 12-1 longshot was third at the start and kept the competition in her sights. She started rolling halfway through the race and in the final yards she caught the leader Chickitita before beating her by a head in a time of :17.594 for 350 yards.

“When I saw that she drew post number 10 I called Ed,” Visscher added. “I told him that this was great for her because she needed the room and she would be coming on strong. She needs the distance. I don’t like to run her at 300 yards. She’s made five starts at distance longer than 300 yards. She was four out at the start, but she came back flying. I can’t wait to run her at 400 yards.”

Bred in Washington by the DeNikes, the daughter of Separatist out of the Thoroughbred mare A Lil’ Alimony made only three starts as a 2-year-old. She ran fourth and seventh in her first two outings before breaking her maiden in her third start.

“The DeNikes will turn out their 2-year-olds and wait with them if they’re not doing well,” Visscher said. “She won her first start after coming back.”

Separate Thoughts has now picked up wins in three of seven career starts. She made $13,750 in this race to more than double her career earnings, which now stand at $26,785. Jeryl Hartley and John Firth’s Chickitita earned $5,625 after holding on to second-place. Chickitita was racing for the first time since being scratched out of the La Primera Del Ano Derby (G3) final. She had finished second to Natalie Dash in their La Primera trial. Cruz Mendez piloted Chickitita for trainer John Cooper. Ed Allred’s 2-1 favorite Study Hall Pierce settled for third-place. Tac It To Heart, Easeful Dinastia, A First Down Snow, Mai Corona, OC City Girl, Sixy Silhouette, and Tac Out completed the field.