Sweet Catomine moved one step closer to locking up the champion 2-year-old filly title with an impressive 3 ¾-length win in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Lone Star Park, stopping the clock in the 1 1/16-mile event in a quick 1:41.65.
Ridden by Corey Nakatani, Sweet Catomine overcame traffic problems, taking up on the turn for home, but they quickly recovered to resume her quest of leader Sis City.
``I was in a little tight but she was able to overcome that,'' Nakatani said after his sixth Breeders' Cup win.
Balletto was second, with an unfortunate Runway Model 1 ¼ lengths back in third.
The win was the first Breeders' Cup main track win for trainer Julio Canani, who conditions the homebred daughter of Storm Cat
out of the Kris S. mare Sweet Life for Marty and Pam Wygod, who collected their first Breeders' Cup win.
``This is a very special filly,'' trainer Julio Canani said after his third Breeders' Cup win. "This is my first Breeders' Cup starter in a 2-year-old race."
Sweet Catomine returned $6.60, $4.00, and $3.00. Balletto (Jerry Bailey) paid $4.80 and $3.40. Runway Model (Rafael Bejarano) paid $5.00.
"The winner was just much the best," conceded Tom Albertrani, trainer of the runner-up Balletto. "My filly tried her best."
Outsiders Sis City and Higher World broke quickly and led the field of 13 2-year-old fillies through early fractions of :22.99, :46.44, and 1:10.69 at the three-quarter mark. Sweet Catomine, a large filly, was forced to check rounding the turn for home, but quickly rallied in the stretch to pull away for a convincing win.
Runway Model, racing on the inside in the stretch, attempted to squeeze between Balletto and Sis City at the eighth pole but lacked room twice.
"Someone was trying to come up inside of me," said Bailey, aboard Balletto. "I don't know who it was but it made it pretty tight because there wasn't much space there. My horse showed good acceleration but didn't quite have the turn of foot she needed when I asked."
"She got stopped in mid-stretch, but that's just racing luck," said Bernie Flint, trainer of Runway Model. "I can't complain. She did a wonderful job of coming back to get third. I'm really proud of her."
Sweet Catomine entered the race off a four-length score in the Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. II) and scoring a 1 ¾-length win in the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I). The victory was worth $520,000 and she now has earnings of $799,800.
Sis City, who is partially owned by New York Yankees manager Joe Torre, held on four fourth, a neck ahead of Dance Away Capote. Sharp Lisa, Culinary, Play With Fire, Sense of Style, Culture Clash, Mona Lisa and Higher World followed.