A daughter of Rahy, Verdana Bold led the whole way under Emile Ramsammy in the 1 1/16-mile test, carried a commanding four-length advantage into the stretch, and barely held off even-money favorite Grace and Power at the wire to win by a head. Going off at 7-1, she earned her first graded stakes victory while testing more than eight furlongs for the first time.
The final time was 1:44.20. Bobby Flay’s Grace and Power, who was second in the Dec. 15 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I), was 2 3/4 lengths ahead of third-place Initforreal.
Verdana Bold entered the Selene off a one-length victory in the six-furlong Star Shoot Stakes April 13 at Woodbine, her first start on a synthetic surface. Prior to that, she had made all four of her career starts at Laurel Park – three on dirt, the other on turf. The turf start came last September in her racing debut, a 1 1/4-length score.
Bred in Kentucky by Seltzer, Gainsborough Farm and Robert Clay, Verdana Bold is out of the A.P. Indy mare True Legacy. She is trained by Daniel Vella.
Breaking from post four, Ramsammy sent the chestnut filly straight to the front. Without much early speed to challenge, she set comfortable fractions through the backside, clicking off a :24.04 quarter and :47.26 half-mile. She was a length in front of Northern Kraze, with a large gap back to Officer Cherrie. Grace and Power sat sixth with Ramon Dominguez in the irons.
Verdana Bold began to extend her lead on the turn and even though the pace quickened a bit (six furlongs in 1:10.68), she seemed to have the race under control when she hit the quarter-pole.
But Grace and Power made her bold three-wide move from far back, loomed into contention at the eighth-pole, and took dead aim at the tiring leader in deep stretch. Verdana Bold, shortening stride but still fighting gamely, was all out in the final yards to hold on for the win.
The winner paid $17, $4.70 and $3.80. The exacta (4-7) was worth $39.80, while the trifecta (4-7-1) returned $564.80.
Verdana Bold is now 4-0-0 from six starts and has amassed earnings of more than $271,000.
Northern Kraze finished fourth, followed by She’s the Umpire, Officer Cherrie and Victoria Bay.