I Lost My Choo showed no rust from a nearly seven-month layoff, as the 4-year-old filly drew away in mid-stretch and won by two lengths in the $100,000 Honey Fox (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) on the turf at Gulfstream Park March 7.
Sent off at odds of 7-1, I lost My Choo’s victory was not as surprising as the performance of odds-on favorite Wild Promises, who entered the one-mile event on a six-race win streak, including a victory in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Jan. 24 in Florida. The 5-year-old mare held the lead for six furlongs and then faded under Aaron Gryder, finishing 10th in a field of 12 fillies and mares.
I Lost My Choo, who raced well off the pace down the backstretch and made her winning move around the turn with Jose Lezcano aboard, stopped the clock in 1:33.40 on the firm turf. Rustic Flame finished second at odds of 50-1 under Joe Bravo. Flibberjibit, the leader at the top of the lane, came in third.
“She was really excited, really nervous before the race, so the trainer just said to try to settle her down," Lezcano said. "I thought we were in too much of a (traffic) jam to get out, but she found her way (to the outside) on the final turn and made her push. She especially turned it on the last two furlongs.”
Wild Promises set a fast pace by clicking off splits of :23.35, :46.48, and 1:09.78. Audacious Chloe pressed lthe eader, while Ashley River was also close up for three-quarters of mile.
Trained by Philip Serpe, I Lost My Choo had last raced Aug. 15 at Saratoga when finishing fifth in the Lake Placid (gr. IIT). One race prior she won the Virginia Oaks (gr. IIIT) at Colonial Downs for her first graded stakes score.
A daughter of Western Expression—Fairy Queen, by Tom Rolfe, she was bred in New York by Flying Zee Stable, which also owns the filly. She has now won six of 10 lifetime starts with earnings of $336,140.
“She trained great to come back, and obviously likes it down here," Serpe said. "She was three-for-three over the course last year and now she’s four-for-four. She went on and won the Virginia Oaks, but when it rained at Saratoga, that didn’t help. She had had a long campaign by then, maybe getting sour, and as always, Mr. (Carl) Lizza (owner of Flying Zee Stable) always lets you give them time. It was a well-needed break that served its purpose.
"We’ll talk it over; maybe a race like the Jenny Wiley at Keeneland (April 11) could be next.”
The winner paid $16.40, $9.20 and $6.80. The exacta (1-15) returned $720.60, with the $1 trifecta (1-15-9) netting $3,078.