The Florida-bred Put It Back
filly won comfortably by 3 1/2 lengths at 4-1 odds and turned the tables on familiar rival and runner-up Sweet N Discreet
, who defeated her in the Sunshine Millions Distaff Stakes Jan. 18 at Gulfstream last time out.
covered 1 1/16 miles in a record 1:41 flat, eclipsing the previous track mark of 1:41.17 set by Golden Lad
in an optional claiming race Feb. 5.
"I didn't realize how fast she went," said winning rider Javier Castellano, who won three races on the card. "She accelerated very comfortably...in a nice rhythm. She finished very strong."
Breaking from post 6 in the field of eight older fillies and mares, Devil's Cave dominated her rivals from the start. Saving ground along the inside, she opened a clear lead early over 46-1 outsider Kipling's Joy
and carved out fractions of :23.52, :46.98, and 1:10.62 through six furlongs. The 2-1 favorite Rose to Gold
tracked about one length back in third before steadily fading and finishing seventh. Sweet N Discreet settled toward the back of the field in sixth.
moved to challenge on the far turn, but Sweet N Discreet cruised past in early stretch to secure the runner-up spot. Devil's Cave opened up by two lengths in the drive and extended her advantage to the finish line in a sparkling time.
"I was surprised about (the new track record)," Castellano said. "She gave me a great performance today. The way she did it was very comfortable. She was very relaxed in the first part of the race and I liked the way she finished. She gave me everything she had today. I was very impressed."
The 4-1 fourth choice, Devil's Cave returned mutuels of $10.40, $4.80, and $3.60 and Sweet N Discreet paid $4 and $3. Triple Arch, who finished 2 1/4 lengths back in third, paid $7.20.
Trained by Marty Wolfson, Devil's Cave placed five times in six starts as a 3-year-old last year and capped the season with a win in her stakes debut against state-breds in the Ocala, in which she defeated Sweet N Discreet. Next out she set a slow early pace under too snug of a hold by Joel Rosario in the Sunshine Millions before being caught in upper stretch by Sweet N Discreet, who cruised on to a 1 1/2-length win. Although she came back in deep stretch, she could not get to the winner. Rosario was apologetic.
With victory in the Sabin, her first stakes outing against open company, Devil's Cave's career record stands at four wins and four seconds from 10 starts and $327,647 in earnings.
"I think the jockey (Joel Rosario) made a huge mistake last time. He told me he did. She has high speed and to make a horse like her go 1:14-and-2 (for six furlongs) really discourages her," said Wolfson, who also saddled longshots Gamay Noir and Kipling's Joy. "She still came back again, that's why I knew she was a better horse than Sweet N Discreet."
Bred by Circle S Ranch out of stakes-winning Jungle Express mare Wabash Girl, Devil's Cave is a half sister to stakes winner Shez a Pretty Girl. She sold for $180,000 to agent Steve Young at the 2012 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. spring 2-year-olds in training sale. Blue River Bloodstock consigned as agent.