Pool Land Pulls Away in BC Distaff Handicap

Pool Land Pulls Away in BC Distaff Handicap
Photo: Barbara D. Livingston
Pool Land wins the Allaire duPont Breeders' Cup Distaff at Pimlico.
Pool Land, the 3-2 favorite, pulled away from Josh's Madelyn in the lane at Pimilco to win the $200,000 Allaire DuPont Breeders' Cup Distaff Handicap (gr. III) by one length.

Grade I winner In the Gold, the 124-pound highweight under Javier Castellano, was 3 ΒΌ lengths farther back in third.

Pool Land, owned by Melnyk Racing Stables, is trained by Todd Pletcher and was ridden by Garrett Gomez to her first graded stakes victory. The 4-year-old filly was a $475,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale purchase. Bred in Kentucky by Kings Way Farm and Windfield Farm, Pool Land is by Silver Deputy and is out of the Slew City Slew mare Slew City Slicker.

"She did everything absolutely perfect," Gomez said. "I could not ask for more."

Princess Pelona broke sharpest of the nine fillies and mares in the 1 1/16-mile race, but she was quickly joined by Pool Land as the field crossed the wire the first time. Dance Fee and Promenade Girl gave chase through a :23.86 opening quarter.

Down the backstretch, Princess Pelona opened a sizable lead, completing the half-mile in :47.93, but as they approached the turn she was overtaken by Pool Land between horses, and the hard-charging Josh's Madelyn to her outside. Those two took command of the race as the field straightened away in the stretch, with Pool Land inching away at the eighth pole.

Pool Land paid $5, $2.80, and $2.40. Josh's Madelyn paid $4.40 and $3.60 and In the Gold returned $4.20 to show. The exacta paid $24.20.

After a mile in 1:36.36, Pool Land hit the wire in a stakes record 1:42.71.

Pool Land came into the DuPont off a front-running, 12-length score in the Doubledogdare Stakes at Keeneland. She now has five wins from six starts with earnings of $276,976. Her lone defeat came when sixth in the Shirley Jones Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Gulfstream March 18.

"I thought she would rate," Pletcher said. "She has done everything right her whole life. It worked out good from an outside post. She was able to get some position in the first turn. She came away with a good rating spot down the backstretch."

Friel's for Real finished fourth, followed by Promenade Girl, Dance Fee, Princess Pelona, Silmaril, and Plata.

"I had to take back on the first turn because I didn't want to get stuck too wide," jockey Ramon Dominguez said of the runner-up Josh's Madelyn. "I put the pressure on at the three-eighths pole, and I had a lot of horse left, but I just couldn't get to (Pool Land)."

(Chart, Equibase)

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