Fierce Boots took the lead coming out of the gate and was never headed as she rolled to a two-length upset of favored Flipcup in the $100,000 Busanda Stakes for 3-year-old fillies Jan. 4 at Aqueduct Racetrack (VIDEO).
Ridden by Jose Ortiz, Fierce Boots towed the field of eight through moderate fractions of :24.44 for the opening quarter-mile, :48.93 for the half, and 1:14.87 for three-quarters. She straightened for home ahead by two and went on to complete the one mile, 70 yards over the inner track in 1:46.62.
"She broke well, so I put her on the lead," said Ortiz. "She went very relaxed and just kept trying."
It was the first stakes victory for Fierce Boots, who is owned by celebrity chef Bobby Flay and trained by Todd Pletcher. The bay daughter of Tiznow , who fetched $200,000 at the Keeneland sales in September 2012, came from off the pace to break her maiden in August at Parx Racing in her second start. She was most recently finished fourth in a first-level allowance/optional claimer Dec. 5 at Aqueduct.
"She hadn't gone to the front in the past, but she'd been more rank lately and we thought it would be a good idea to let her settle in where she wants to be," said Pletcher's assistant, Byron Hughes. "Todd thought two turns would suit her."
Fierce Boots was bred in Kentucky by Jamm Ltd. She is out of the Wild Again mare Shop Again.
Sent off at 8-1, Fierce Boots returned $19, $7.20, and $4.40 and earned $60,000 to nearly triple her bankroll to $94,036. Overall, she is 2-0-0 from five starts. With the victory, she received 10 points towards a possible berth in the Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) May 3 at Churchill Downs, a race won last year by Busanda victress Princess of Sylmar.
Runner-up Flipcup ($3.60, $2.60), who took the East View Stakes for New York-breds last time out, was another two lengths ahead of Fleet of Gold ($4.20). Following her in fourth was Ketel Twist, with Alpaca Fina, Camille Claudel, Spanish Gold, and Derek's Girl completing the order of finish.