Tribal Spy springs upset


Triple B Farms' Tribal Spy pulled off the upset by a head in her graded stakes debut in Saturday's Grade 3, $100,500 Las Cienegas Stakes at Santa Anita Park. The Adam Kitchingman trainee was sent off as the 11-1 longest shot on the board in the seven-horse field and paid $25.60 for the score.

Tribal Spy overcame a slight bobble at the start while Sky High Gal posted an opening quarter in a swift :21 ⅖ seconds. The 7-5 favorite Biorhythm quickly took over the lead on the inside to run a half-mile in :43 seconds and led the field into the stretch, before fading late.

Tribal Spy raced in third for much of the race before wearing down the leaders on the outside in midstretch. The four-year-old filly held off a late charge from Llandudno, who was the second longest shot on the board, for her second stakes victory.

"We had a perfect trip," jockey Joe Talamo said. "I was real pleased to see those two fillies on the lead [favored Biorhythm and Sky High Gal] goin' head and head. They were going pretty quick. So we got a perfect trip. Turning for home I took her to the outside and she pretty much did the rest."

Llandudno settled for second, three-quarters of a length clear of Sky High Gal in third. Biorhythm, Ciao Bella Luna, Macaabra and Minds Eyes rounded out the order of finish.

Tribal Spy crossed the wire in 1:12 going about 6 ½ furlongs over the firm Downhill turf. She has a record that stands at 15-6-3-1 and $298,610 in lifetime earnings.

"I let Joe ride his race," Kitchingman said. "He did whatever he wanted to do. She loves this course. Tribal Rules are doing great on the grass right now and she's a gutsy little filly. We'll probably come back in that 6 ½ down the hill on May 25 [$75,000 Mizdirection Stakes]. We'll rest her up a little bit … let her go swim for a couple weeks and then freshen her up."

Tribal Spy raced six times before breaking her maiden in her seventh attempt against maiden claimers over the Cushion Track at Hollywood Park on June 2. She finished second in her stakes debut two starts later in the Unzip Me Stakes over this course on September 28.

The chestnut was third in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Sprint in January and was exiting her first stakes victory in the Irish O'Brian Stakes on March 18.

Bred in California by Gary Barber, the son of Tribal Rule is out of the Victory Gallop mare Victory Spy. The chestnut's third dam is Northern Dynasty, who produced multiple Grade 3 winner Dynasty. Her female family also includes Benny the Dip, who won the 1997 Epsom Derby, as well as Grade 1 scorer Western Aristocrat.