Favored Broadway's Alibi, racing on an off-track for the first time in her career, made quite a splash in her stakes debut with a dominating 16 3/4-length victory in the Forward Gal (gr. II) Jan. 29 at rainy Gulfstream Park (VIDEO).
John Velazquez rode the E. Paul Robsham Stables' homebred daughter of Vindication to a front-running triumph for trainer Todd Pletcher at odds of 6-5. She completed the seven-furlong event for 3-year-old fillies in 1:21.94 on a sloppy sealed main track.
Broadway's Alibi has now won three straight races by a combined margin of 28 3/4 lengths since debuting with a runner-up effort against maidens at Delaware Park last August. She was coming off a five-length tally over an allowance optional claiming field at six furlongs Dec. 15 at Gulfstream with Velazquez aboard her for the first time.
“She’s fast," Pletcher allowed. "I don’t know about distance. I guess we’ll have to find out at some point.”
This one was over early as Broadway's Alibi broke in stride to take control soon out of the gate. She clipped off quick quarter mile fractions of :22.35 and :44.94 and showed no signs of letting up on the turn as Say a Novena and Sacristy attempted to stay close. Broadway's Alibi enjoyed a seven-length advantage at mid-stretch and continued to lengthen her lead to the wire while ridden out by Velazquez.
“Last time I rode her I tried to take a bit of a hold and she didn’t like that," Velazquez noted. "She threw her head up and drifted out pretty bad. Today I decided to just let her rock-and-roll and it worked better. She still drifted a little. I guess it’s just a bad habit. She’s just so fast I wasn’t going to fight her.”
Say A Novena, ridden by Elvis Trujillo, held for second by two lengths over Old Hat Stakes (gr. III) winner Sacristy and Kent Desormeaux.
Broadway's Alibi, a dark bay or brown filly, is out of the Seeking the Gold mare Broadway Gold. Earning $120,000 for her first stakes appearance, Broadway's Alibi has now banked $189,500.
Under 116 pounds, Broadway's Alibi paid $4.40, $2.80, and $2.10, and keyed a $19.20 exacta. Say A Novena, runner-up in the Old Hat last time out for trainer Edward Plesa Jr. returned $3.80 and $2.40. Second choice Sacristy, finishing worse than second for the first time in five starts, paid $2.20.
"I’m happy with the way our filly ran," Plesa said of the runner-up. "She improved off her last starts. We ran into a buzz saw. That other filly looks like she could be anything. I’m glad she’s going to New York.”
Yara finished fourth, followed by Quick Flip and Good Deed.