Glencrest Farm’s Devil May Care earned an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) when she held off a determined challenge from Awesome Maria to win the Oct. 10 Frizette Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park (VIDEO).
The Frizette was a "Win and You’re In" race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. A daughter of Malibu Moon produced from Kelli’s Ransom (by Red Ransom), Devil May Care was posting her second victory from as many career starts for jockey John Velazquez and trainer Todd Pletcher. The Frizette was the second grade I win on the card for Pletcher, who sent out Take the Points to win the Jamaica Handicap (gr. IT).
Nonna Mia took the lead shortly after the break, as Ramon Dominguez took the filly through early fractions of :22.70 and :45.74 before giving up the lead to Devil May Care, who had angled three wide at the quarter pole. After taking the lead in mid-stretch, Devil May Care dug in and held off the steady and determined challenge from Awesome Maria. The final time for a mile over a track rated fast was 1:35.07.
The winner paid $12.80, $4.50, and $3.10. Awesome Maria was worth $2.60 and $2.10, with Nonna Mia paying $3.20.
"We’ve thought a lot of this filly all along," Pletcher said. "She showed up and ran a huge race for her second time out. She never gets tired. It was a big effort. The big question (about the Breeders’ Cup) is how she will transfer her form to a synthetic surface. She certainly ran well enough to (consider) it. She was very professional for a second-time starter."
"She didn’t break as good as I wanted to, but she recuperated and got into a good spot right away," Velazquez said. "I was biding my time between horses on the turn and then I saw (Touching Beauty) started lugging in and stopped and I had to make a premature move where I didn’t want to go too soon, but I didn’t want to get blocked in there. Then once I got her going I had to keep her mind busy and she finished really well."
"I knew there was going to be a pretty active pace," said Stanley Hough of Awesome Maria, who was ridden by Cornelio Velasquez. "I left everything up to Cornelio, and I was okay with where she was. Sometimes when 2-year-olds stretch out they get a little anxious. She made a great move around the far turn, got to the outside, and gave it her best. I think I’m going to give her some time off. That was four races within a short period of time, so I’ll probably give her the rest of the year off."
In her career debut at Saratoga on Aug. 29, Devil May Care rolled to a 4 3/4-length victory. The filly was bred in Kentucky by Diamond A Racing Corp.