Even-money choice Blueeyesintherein kept her young record a perfect two-for-two when she won the $112,200 Debutante Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs June 23 (VIDEO).
The daughter of Magna Graduate rolled off a dominant May 31 maiden score at Churchill to take the six-furlong test for 2-year-old fillies by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:11.71 on a fast track.
Jockey Leandro Goncalves kept Blueeyesintherein close to the pace in a field of 10, tracking along in fourth while Dancing Elliebelle set an opening quarter of :22.16 and My Daughter's Song took over to lead the half in :46.40.
Goncalves, looking to get in the clear, moved Blueeyesintherein four-wide through three-quarters in :58.82, and took over the lead at the top of the stretch.
"I had horses all over me," Goncalves said. "I had to work my way out. She didn’t have the best trip, but good horses are always able to overcome things and that’s what she did."
Blueeyesintherein commenced her rally four-wide into the stretch under steady urging and extended herself to score comfortably. Quiet Success finished willingly up the rail to claim second under Miguel Mena, holding off a charge from Shesakitty, who was third by a half-length for Calvin Borel after missing the break.
"We came into this race with a lot of confidence," said winning trainer Gary Simms. "I thought we were the best on paper, but it’s a horse race and anything can happen. She really showed a lot of class and heart today and looked a lot like her sire, Magna Graduate, who I trained at the beginning of his career. I had déjà vu watching her run."
It was a second consecutive Debutante victory for Simms, who has been battling melanoma for the past two years. He won the 2011 edition with Flashy Lassie.
Only three other trainers have managed that feat in the 112-year running of the historic race–Steve Asmussen and Hall of Famers D. Wayne Lukas and Bob Baffert.
"Anytime you can win a big race at a place like Churchill Downs two years in a row, it’s a big deal," Simms said. "It feels great. I’ve been through a lot, but a lot of people have it a lot worse than I do. Today’s win is a blessing from above and I’m really happy for my owners and my team."
Blueeyesintherein returned $4.00, $3.00, and $2.40, Quiet Success paid $9 and $4.40, and Shesakitty paid $3.20. Love Me Good, Floral Sky, Dancing Elliebelle, Neith, My Daughter's Song, Truthandknowledge, and Richie'slilcowgirl completed the order of finish.
Blueyesintherein, a $10,000 Keeneland September yearling sale purchase, has now earned $100,466 for owners Dorothy Self, Berry King, Travis Morgenson IV, and Burr Travis, et al. According to Simms, her next target could be the July 20 Schuylerville Stakes (gr. III) at Saratoga Race Course or the Mountaineer Juvenile Fillies at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort Aug. 4.
"Either way she’ll have about four to six weeks before her next start," he said.