Ridden patiently by John Velazquez, Audacious Chloe tracked the pacesetter Fanlight Fanny and Dreaming of Anna while three wide. She launched her bid at the head of the lane to reach even terms with the 4-5 favorite on her inside, slowly edging away in the final stages. The final time for the 1 1/16-mile turf test for 3-year-old fillies was 1:41 3/5 on firm footing. Both fillies carried 121 pounds.
The loss was the second for Dreaming of Anna this year. She captured Eclipse honors in 2006 when she capped a perfect juvenile campaign with a 1 1/2-length win in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). The Rahyfilly returned to action with a third-place finish in Gulfstream's 6 1/2-furlong Old Hat (gr. III) on Feb. 10.
“It’s never encouraging if you don’t win, but we were just second best today,” trainer Wayne Catalano said.
Dreaming of Anna, ridden by Rene Douglas, held a slim advantage after taking over from the fading Fanlight Fanny, who set fractions of :22 4/5, :48 1/5 and 1:11 4/5. But the champion's lead was short-lived because Audacious Chloe was ready to challenge.
“I was happy when those other two went out (Fanlight Fanny & Dreaming of Anna), because we wanted to cover our filly up and see if she would relax," Velazquez said. "I felt good at the three-eighths pole because I knew they had been going pretty hard, and if I could get my filly going, she’d be able to run them down.”
Communique, piloted by Javier Castellano, closed the best of the rest to take third, 3 1/4 lengths behind the winner.
A daughter of More Than Ready out of the Manila mare Audacious, Audacious Chloe is trained by Todd Pletcher for owners Team Valor Stables and Never Tell Farm. Highclere Inc. bred the $300,000 Fasig-Tipton filly in Kentucky.
Audacious Chloe had a maiden win to show in three starts before Pletcher switched her to the turf to win a one-mile stakes at Monmouth Aug. 20. In her only other start since then, the chestnut nearly went the distance in the 1 1/16-mile Jessamine before losing out by a neck on the Keeneland lawn Oct. 26. Her record stands at three wins and two seconds in six starts with earnings of $148,139.
“She loved the time off – didn’t miss a beat in her training -- and did everything Todd asked her to," said Anthony Sciametta Jr., who saddled Audacious Chloe for Pletcher. "He was adamant to Johnny that he wanted her to rate today.”
Second choice in the field of eight, she paid $8.60, $3.20, and $2.60. Dreaming of Anna returned $2.60 and $2.10. Communique was $2.80 to show.