By Jerry Bossert
Celebrity chef Bobby Flay's Dame Dorothy remained undefeated in four starts when she held off a late run from Catch My Drift to take the $200,000 Turnback the Alarm Handicap (gr. III) (VIDEO) by a half length on closing day of the fall meet from Belmont Park Oct. 26.
Taking command from stablemate Teen Pauline at the top of the stretch, 7-2 shot Dame Dorothy was fully extended under jockey Javier Castellano to hold off Catch My Drift in the final sixteenth of a mile. The 3-year-old filly recorded the first graded victory of her career while defeating older horses in her initial try.
"I had a perfect trip," Castellano said. "She's always a little slow with her first step, but I put her in a good position in the race. On the backside, I had to steady a little bit, and tried to angle her outside and keep her in the clear. That was the key to winning the race. I've always liked how she does things the right way. I love the filly because she's undefeated. Whatever you ask her for, she gives you."
The daughter of Bernardini broke her maiden in her debut at Aqueduct Racetrack Nov. 30 before scoring in the slop at Gulfstream Park two months later. She didn't return to the races until Aug. 10, when she took the Malvern Rose Stakes for Pennsylvania-breds over the Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs.
"She's obviously a filly we've held in high regard since her 2-year-old year," winning trainer Todd Pletcher said. "Bobby has been very patient with her. We felt like we had a very talented filly and she's taken a little while to get to this point, but it's very gratifying that we have. We'll look at the Comely (gr. III Nov. 29 at Aqueduct) and go from there."
Dame Dorothy was a $390,000 purchase at the 2012 Keeneland September Sale. The bay filly was bred in Pennsylvania by Derry Meeting Farm out of the dam Vole Vole Monamour, by Woodman.
"Her performance was terrific," Flay said. "You never know—it was her first time against older horses. She's a 3-year-old. Obviously, it's late in the year, but horses like Teen Pauline and Endless Chatter are really good fillies, so for her to be able to beat them in the fashion she did today is really thrilling."
Carrying 114 pounds, Dame Dorothy returned $9.10 to win, $5.80 to place, and $4.40 to show as the third choice. Catch My Drift paid $7.70 to place and $4.90 to show, while Toasting, who finished 1 1/2 lengths behind the winner, returned $6 to show.
Completing the rest of the field was Moment in Dixie, slight 3-1 favorite Tapit's World, Teen Pauline, Flores Island, and Endless Chatter.
"Todd said this was going to be a prep for the Comely," Flay said. "We're looking forward to running her against straight 3-year-olds. It should be a good day of racing—Cigar Mile Day."
Racing action in New York shifts to Aqueduct, which opens Oct. 29.
By Jerry Bossert