Robert S. Evans’ homebred New Normal took the lead right out of the gate and never looked back, punching her ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IIT) in November with a wire-to-wire score in the $195,084 Natalma Stakes (Can-IIIT) (VIDEO) Sept. 18 at Woodbine.
The daughter of Forestry broke her maiden by 2 3/4 lengths last out going seven furlongs on the Woodbine turf course in similar front-running fashion and proved the extra furlong was no bother in the one-mile Natalma. Javier Castellano guided New Normal to victory for trainer Mark Frostad. The final time on the good turf was 1:36.51.
With the stewards' scratch of morning line favorite Roxy Gap, New Normal broke well from post 4 and went easily on the front end through fractions of :23.92, :47.92, and 1:12.30. Street Chimes and Sheba's Secret stalked the leader, who cut the corner sharply and had a half-length ladvantage over Dos Lunas at the eighth pole.
Dos Lunas chased the pacesetter through the stretch run, but inside the sixteenth pole the biggest threat was 4-5 favorite More Than Real, rallying from fourth in the center of the course. However, she could not get to New Normal, who crossed the wire ahead by 1 1/2 lengths.
Bobby Flay's More Than Real, with Garrett Gomez aboard, was 1 3/4 lengths better than stablemate Street Chimes for runner-up. Both fillies are trained by Todd Pletcher.
New Normal has now won two of three starts for earnings of $153,972 with the Natalma winner's share of $116,352. The bay filly was bred in Kentucky and is out of the Red Ransom mare New Economy.
“She’s a big, strong filly and has developed very nicely all along,” Frostad said. “Every time she works, she works better and better. We decided to give her a chance and she rewarded us.
“I’m sure we all have the same mindset with her. If all goes well, (the Breeders’ Cup) will be a go.”
The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf will be held Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs.
The winner paid $15.80, $5.70, and $3.70. The exacta (5-7) returned $38.90 and the trifecta (5-7-2) was $170.20.