By Dennis Miller
Jockey Catalino Martinez knew how the 4th running of the Wine Country Debutante would play out when he broke on his horse Little Doe Saturday in the 6-furlong sprint for 2-year-old fillies at the Sonoma County Fair.
“(Trainer, Felix Rodan) said at the start to go the lead,” said Martinez. “If (She’s No Drama) puts pressure on us, that was okay because she was the only horse that would early.”
What Martinez didn’t count on – and didn’t know – was She’s No Drama stumbled out the gate, giving Martinez and Little Doe a clear lead.
“I got out there and wondered where was (She’s No Drama),” said Martinez.
With She’s No Drama back in the field, Martinez had the lead by himself and got Little Doe to relax while setting the pace. By the time they hit the top of the lane, he had a good idea the race was over.
“At that point, I knew I had a lot of horse left and thought I was going to win,” explained Martinez.
The only remaining stumbling block was Little Doe veering inside a bit in the stretch.
“She got scared of the crowd,” said Martinez. “You know how 2-year-olds get.”
The brief hurdle was overcome and Little Doe went on to win the race, taking her second straight win over three career starts. Song From Above, the heavy favorite from the Steve Specht barn, was second and Assemble ran on for third.
Racing resumes Friday in the Wine Country Racing meet in Santa Rosa with a 2:15 p.m. post time. Parking and admission is free with the bonus week of racing.