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Azeri Is Sharp in Lady's Secret

October 03, 2002|Bill Christine

Winning her sixth race in a row and ninth in 10 career starts, Azeri overwhelmed six rivals Wednesday to win the $217,500 Lady's Secret Handicap by 3 1/2 lengths as the Oak Tree Racing Assn. opened its 26-day meet at Santa Anita.

Trainer Laura de Seroux said that Azeri would run next in the $2-million Breeders' Cup Distaff on Oct. 26 at Arlington Park, where she will carry equal weight of 126 pounds instead of spotting the opposition. In the Lady's Secret, Azeri toted a career-high 127 pounds, which was 12 pounds more than Starrer, the second-place finisher.

"She's [at] another level, and I'm so in awe of her and love her so much," de Seroux said. "I'm glad [jockey Mike Smith] was as easy as possible with her because of all the weight she carried."

Azeri, increasing her earnings to more than $1.1 million, ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:41 1/5, fastest running of the stake since Hollywood Wildcat's record of 1:40 3/5 in 1994.

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