G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s talented filly One Caroline wasn’t fazed the least bit when facing graded stakes winners for the first time, as she took command shortly after first call and disposed of six rivals to win the $100,000 Sabin Stakes (gr. III) (VIDEO) by a length Feb. 20 at Gulfstream Park.
Racing under Edgar Prado, One Caroline stalked the early pace set by Dreaming of Liz (:24.29), used her speed to grab the lead before the half-mile marker and opened up a clear advantage around the turn. Despite being pressured by stubborn Swift Temper in the stretch, the 4-year-old daughter of Unbridled's Song was good enough to hold on for the score.
Conditioned by Rusty Arnold, even-money favorite One Caroline was making her stakes debut in the Sabin. She is now undefeated in four lifetime starts.
“It was an easy ride," said Prado, who rode her for the first time. "We started out second and just ran a smooth race. She was cruising the entire time without much trouble. The only reason it got tight at the end was because she was looking for a little competition, but she had plenty today.”
One Caroline entered the Sabin off a pair of convincing 6 3/4-length victories in allowance company. The first effort came last summer at Churchill Downs, one month after breaking her maiden at first asking. After being off for nearly seven months, the gray/roan filly dazzled in her seasonal debut Jan. 15 at Gulfstream, also at one mile.
“I kind of left it up to Edgar as to where to be," Arnold said. "I thought she’d probably be one-two. She’s got plenty of speed, but it’s relaxed speed. The Rampart (gr. II, Mar. 29) is the logical spot for her next going a mile-and-an-eighth. She’s probably even better around two turns than one. I think she’s pretty special.”
Bred in Kentucky by Payson Stud and out of the Broad Brush mare Powder, One Caroline was a $400,000 yearling purchase. She has now earned $136,396.
The winner paid $4, $3 and $2.10. The exacta (5-1) returned $27.60. The trifecta (5-1-7) netted $98.
Miss Isella, who entered off a win in last year’s Falls City Handicap (gr. II), finished fourth as the second choice, followed by Cat Can Do, Dreaming of Liz and Fancy Fusaichi. Alina and So Glitzy were scratched.