In Lingerie is "getting better," according to Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, and her timing couldn't be more perfect with the Breeders' Cup World Championships approaching. The 3-year-old daughter of Empire Maker notched her first grade I victory Oct. 7, taking the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes at Keeneland in Central Kentucky.
"She had a perfect trip," said Velazquez, who guided In Lingerie to a two-length win. "She broke really well, so we got into a nice position. I was a little worried because the horses in front of me, I was expecting they were going to come back to me. But actually, they lasted a little longer than I expected, which did help me out a little bit. Once I got (her) out at the sixteenth pole and she was in the clear, she responded right away. I'm very proud of her."
Favored In Lingerie covered 1 1/8 miles over Keeneland's Polytrack surface in 1:49.42. Mystical Star finished second, 2 1/4 lengths in front of Upperline. Starformer was another three-quarters of a length back in fourth while Tiz Miz Sue rallied from last in the field of 10 fillies and mares to end up in the fifth spot. Aruna, the 2011 Spinster winner, was sixth.
In Lingerie, who didn't make her career debut until this past January, has won four of her seven races and has never finished worse than third. Her efforts include victories in the Bourbonette Oaks (gr. III) on Polytrack at Turfway Park and the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) at Pimlico Race Course. In her last two outings prior to the Spinster, she finished third in the TVG Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) and second in the Alabama Stakes (gr. I), both won by Questing at Saratoga Race Course.
"We were hopeful (of a winning performance)," said In Lingerie's multiple Eclipse Award-winning trainer, Todd Pletcher. "She ran very well at Saratoga against the best 3-year-old fillies in the country and we knew she liked the Polytrack. We were just hoping she would transfer that form from Turfway (where she also won her career debut) early on. We knew she was training well so we were optimistic."
In Lingerie broke fourth from the starting gate in the Spinster and remained in that position through the first three-quarters of a mile. Juanita, a 31-1 longshot, grabbed the lead going into the first turn and set the pace, with quarter-mile splits of :24.20, :47.97, and 1:12.41. But after that, she faded to ninth.
In Lingerie, meanwhile, made her bid for the front by charging between horses while approaching the eighth pole. She easily surged ahead of the rallying Mystical Star and pulled away.
Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber own In Lingerie in partnership. Bred in Kentucky by Colts Neck Stable, she is out of the grade II-winning Storm Cat mare Cat Chat. The bay filly was a $22,000 buy-back at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale when consigned by Lane's End, agent.
In Lingerie carried the colors of R. Warren Lyster in her first career race and then she started running for Eclipse and Barber after being acquired privately. She paid her Spinster backers $6.80, $3.80, and $3.20. Mystical Star returned $5.60 and $4.60 while Upperline returned $5.20.
The Spinster is a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" Challenge race for the Ladies' Classic (gr. I). But Pletcher indicated that In Lingerie might not run in that event.
"I'll take to Aron (Wellman of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners) and Gary," Pletcher said. "We'll see how she comes out of it and talk about some options. I'd say she's the kind you could look at a couple of different races with."
The World Championships are scheduled for Nov. 2 and 3 at Santa Anita Park in Southern California.
In Lingerie, who has earned $712,265, is unbeaten on Polytrack. Santa Anita has a dirt main track surface.