Misty For Me grabbed the lead from the start and never looked back, drawing off in the final furlong to win the $284,558 Stobart Ireland Pretty Polly Stakes (Ire-I) at the Curragh by six lengths over Midday June 25.
The victory earned the daughter of Galileo an automatic berth in the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs this November, since it is a qualifying “Win and You’re In” race in the Breeders’ Cup Challenge series.
A field of seven fillies and mares faced the starter in the Pretty Polly, reduced by one after the withdrawal of last year’s Investec Oaks (Eng-I) and Darley Irish Oaks (Ire-I) winner Snow Fairy. Trainer Ed Dunlop indicated that his champion filly would now be pointed to a possible start in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I) on July 2.
Trained by Aidan O’Brien for the partnership of Michael Tabor, Susan Magnier, and Derrick Smith, Misty For Me was sent off as the 5-2 second choice. Breaking alertly under Seamie Heffernan, Misty For Me went straight to the front and was always in control, setting a comfortable pace while galloping along easily on the front end.
Heavily-favored Midday, ridden by Tom Queally, sat just off the leader in third for much of the race, moving into second as the fillies entered the home straight. Queally moved Midday out wide in the straightaway, but Misty For Me had already spurted away from the field and was sailing towards home. Midday was left toiling in her wake, struggling on at one pace in the final furlong.
Misty For Me crossed the wire well in front while Midday held onto second by 4 1/2 lengths over Chrysanthemum. The final time for the 10 furlongs was 2:13.37 over a course listed as yielding to soft.
The Pretty Polly was the fourth group I victory for Misty For Me, who has now won five of her nine career starts. Three of her group I wins have come at the Curragh, with her other coming in the Prix Marcel Boussac (Fr-I) at Longchamp last October.
The victory in the Pretty Polly atoned for Misty For Me’s poor fifth-place finish in the Investec Oaks on June 3. O’Brien told reporters after the race, “We’re delighted with Misty For Me and she had the form on the board. Things didn’t work out at Epsom and that can happen.
“We’re very happy with her today and she got a great ride. It’s very possible that she could go for the (Darley) Irish Oaks (Ire-I) now, but we also have Wonder Of Wonders for that.”
Misty For Me was bred in Ireland by March Thoroughbreds. She is out of the unraced Storm Cat mare, Butterfly Cove. Butterfly Cove is a half-sister to champion Fasliyev (by Nureyev), and also hails from the immediate family of Menifee and Desert Wine.