Though she was less experienced than many of her 3-year-old filly rivals, Fugitive Angel was much the best in her graded-stakes debut, covering 1 1/8 miles on the firm turf in 1:44.10. Rosie Napravnik guided the daughter of Alphabet Soup for trainer Jonathan Sheppard.
Winning owner/breeder George Strawbridge Jr notched his eighth graded stakes at Keeneland, one of only 15 owners to achieve that milestone.
Fugitive Angel remained perfect in four starts in 2010. The bay filly shipped in from Presque Isle Downs & Casino, where she won the restricted Malvern Rose Stakes on the Tapeta surface Aug. 19. She had three works at Keeneland leading up to the Valley View.
Napravnik gave Fugitive Angel a patient ride, settling near the back of the field of 12 through opening splits of :23.71 and :48 flat. Ice Mist, with Jesus Castanon aboard, continued to set an uncontested pace through six furlongs in 1:13.05 and turned for home with a clear advantage over No Explaining.
But Fugitive Angel, who advanced four-wide along the hedge on the second turn, was only 1 1/2 lengths back at the eighth-pole and continued to gain ground on the leader. She overtook Ice Mist inside the sixteenth-pole to win going away.
"She broke a little slow and she was very relaxed, which is the objective with her, and she was ready when I called on her," Napravnik said. "She finished very strong."
Sheppard, who teamed with Napravnik and Strawbridge to win with Kitty Love earlier on the card, said Strawbridge loves to win races at Keeneland.
"He's such a retiring type," Sheppard said. "Last weekend he seemed slightly frustrated when we had two very close ones and didn't quite get there. Now, I think I know why."
Ice Mist was a clear second, a length in front of No Explaining and John Velazquez. Persuading was fourth.
Fugitive Angel, who is out of the Unbridled mare Screening, improved to 4-1-0 from seven starts. The Pennsylvania-bred has now earned $203,147.
The winner paid $11.60, $7.40, and $4.80. The exacta (3-9) returned $226.80 and the trifecta (3-9-8) was $1,173.20.
In the Slips was fifth, Millennia, Crescenda, Jenny’s So Great, Silent Candy, favored Neon Light, Caminadora, and Blackwell.