Love and Pride took advantage of the absence of morning-line favorite Pachattack, who trainer Graham Motion scratched in favor of the All Along Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Colonial Downs, to wire a 5-horse field in the $150,00 Obeah Stakes (gr. III) at Delaware Park June 16 (VIDEO).
Breaking sharply under jockey Jeremy Rose in the 1 1/8-mile event for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up, the 4-year-old daughter of A.P. Indy out of the Storm Cat mare Ile de France set reasonable early fractions of :23.41 and :47.71 while maintaining a comfortable lead throughout. A length in front at the head of the stretch after going three-quarters in 1:11.75 and the mile in 1:37.38, she was roused to the task and held sway to prevail over 9-10 favorite Tiz Miz Sue by 1 ¾ lengths in a final time of 1:49.91.
"She was awesome,” Rose remarked of the 11-10 second choice. “She has one heck of a cruising gear. She went kind of quick, but she had a lot left. I am not sure who is coming for the 'Del Cap,' but I think today she showed she is worthy of consideration.”
The top four finishers in the Obeah automatically earn a free nomination to the $750,000 Delaware Handicap (gr. II) July 21.
It was the second straight runner-up finish in the Obeah for Tiz Miz Sue, who trainer Steve Hobby saddled to run second last season to eventual Horse of the Year Havre de Grace.
“When you’re alone on the lead, you’re tough, especially a good horse like that,” Hobby said of Love and Pride. “We’ll see who’s coming (to the Delaware Handicap), but that will be the plan. Hopefully this prep will set her up for the Del Cap.”
Trainer Todd Pletcher sent Love and Pride to the Obeah off a head loss to Awesomemundo in the $100,000 Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes (gr. III) at Pimlico Racecourse May 19. She registered her first graded stakes score.
Bred in Kentucky by Stud TNT, she was a $380,000 RNA from the 2010 Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training. The $90,000 winner’s share of the purse boosted her career earnings to $370,760, with a 5-2-4 record from 15 starts for Green Hills Farm.
The bay filly carried 117 pounds and returned $4.20, $2.20, and $2.10. Tiz Miss Sue ($2.20, $2.10), the 123-pound high weight, was nine lengths clear of the show horse, Check Point ($3.20). Suroof and She Be Classy completed the order of finish.