Rolling Sea Rolls to Victory in Allaire duPont Distaff

Millennium Farms’ Rolling Sea rolled to the lead on the far turn and drew off down the stretch under Garrett Gomez to win the $134,000 Allaire duPont Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. II) (VIDEO) for fillies and mares by 2 1/4 lengths at Pimlico Friday.

"She rated quite well," Gomez said. "She was relaxed throughout the race and when I called on her, she had all the answers needed today.”

Fiery Pursuit assumed the lead at the start of the 1 1/16-mile test and led Lexi Star through an opening quarter mile in :24 3/5. Down the backside, the 4-year-old filly Rolling Sea moved into second on the outside of Fiery Pursuit, who continued to lead, getting the half mile in :48 3/5. Those two continued 1-2 rounding the second turn, with Rolling Sea putting a head in front as they completed six furlongs in 1:12 4/5.

Rolling Sea took control leaving the turn into the stretch and stopped the timer in 1:36 3/5 for a mile before continuing on to win under vigorous urging in final time of 1:42 4/5.

The chestnut paid $13.60, $6.20, and $3.40. Leah’s Secret, ridden by Edgar Prado, chased the winner through the stretch but tired late while holding second by three parts of a length, paying $5.40 and $2.80. Kettleoneup, the 6-5 favorite in a field of seven after five scratches, returned $2.20 for third after a wide trip under Calvin Borel.

“I was really tickled with her effort," said Helen Pitts, trainer of the runner-up. "It was the first time she’s gone around two turns. I thought she was going to get up for a minute.”

"I had to have her closer to the pace, because there wasn’t any pace in there," Borel said of the favorite. "She doesn’t have that quick turn of foot, and she needs them to come back to her, and they didn’t today."

It was 1 3/4 lengths back to fourth-place finisher Lexi Star, who was followed by Amandatude, Gasia and Fiery Pursuit. Scratches were Take a Check, Sugar Shake, Swap Fliparoo, Peak Maria's Way and Promenade Girl.

The victory was the fourth in six starts this year for the daughter of Sefapiano trained by Steve Asmussen. It improved her career tally to eight wins from 20 starts with earnings of $403,624. Friday's win was worth $60,000.

“Garrett gave her a dream trip," Asmussen said. "She laid second with modest fractions to put her in a position to win. (The scratches) made it extremely manageable for us with the post-position draw; with her drawing 11 of 12. I was very concerned. She kind of wants to be forwardly placed, but she doesn’t have the speed to clear them.”

Rolling Sea was bred in Illinois by Asiel Stable LC and is out of the Cure the Blues mare Almost Sma.

(Chart, Equibase)