Rough Debut for Rachel's Sis at Fair Grounds

Samantha Nicole bangs head on starting gate but finishes second Feb. 16 as favorite.

Samantha Nicole, a full sister to 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, had an adventurous career debut (VIDEO), but managed to run on for second in a maiden special weight test for 3-year-old fillies Feb. 16 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

With Rosie Napravnik aboard in the one mile and 70-yard race, Samantha Nicole banged her head on the outside stall door leaving the gate, brushed with rival Handmade to her outside and trailed the five-horse field. Handmade recovered from her start to eventually get the lead approaching the quarter pole and opened up a substantial advantage in the lane.

A halting pace made it difficult for Samantha Nicole, racing about four lengths off the leaders, to make up much ground. Fractions on the fast track were :25.35, :51.04, and 1:16.11.

Napravnik asked Samantha Nicole for more rounding the far turn and she raced in third as Handmade, ridden by Robby Albarado, went clear by 4 1/2 lengths. Samantha Nicole responded to urging to advance into second inside the eighth pole and secured that spot while finishing 6 1/2 lengths behind 5-2 second choice Handmade. The final time was 1:45 flat.

Samantha Nicole, by Medaglia d'Oro  out of the Roar mare Lotta Kim, is owned by Stonestreet Stable, which purchased her for $700,000 out of the Gainesway consignment at the 2012 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. Bred by Dolphus Morrison, the bay filly is trained by Steve Asmussen.

Her famous sister is an 8-year-old broodmare at Stonestreet Farm near Lexington. She has foaled twice, a 2-year-old colt named Jess's Dream, by Curlin , and a yearling filly by Bernardini .