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Photo: File
Excellent Meeting, during the 1999 campaign.
Feb. 13, 1999
Excellent Meeting at Santa Anita

John and Betty Mabee's homebred filly Excellent Meeting stamped herself a Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contender in a huge way with an overpowering, four-length score in 1:35.35 in the Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita in her 3-year-old debut. At least she did in the eyes of The Blood-Horse's Craig Harzmann and Steve Haskin.

"Those who saw Excellent Meeting's eight furlongs of cruise control are wondering if in fact she might look better wearing roses instead of lilies. Only time will tell," Harzmann wrote about the decision the Mabees will have to make between the Derby and the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).

Haskin, in his Derby Dozen, wrote, "If Excellent Meeting were in another barn, she'd be one of the favorites, but we won't know where she's going until right before the Derby. Looked awesome in Las Virgenes."

The Mabees ended up running Excellent Meeting and her male counterpart, General Challenge, both by General Meeting and trained by Bob Baffert, in the Run for the Roses. The two went off the favored entry, and it was the filly finishing ahead of the colt. Excellent Meeting ran fifth, and General Challenge 11th.

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