Dazzle Me wins the Azalea Breeders' Cup Stakes during the Summit of Speed at Calder Race Course.

Dazzle Me wins the Azalea Breeders' Cup Stakes during the Summit of Speed at Calder Race Course.

Skip Smith

Dazzle Me Sparkles in Azalea Breeders' Cup

Dazzle Me, hustled away off the rail by Shane Sellers, took command on the backstretch and never looked back, scoring a 6 1/2-length victory in the $300,000 Azalea Breeders' Cup (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Calder Race Course Saturday.

With a strong wind at her back, Dazzle Me blitzed the opening quarter in :21 1/5, settling down from there to win in a final time of 1:11 2/5 on a fast track. Although shortening stride in the final eighth, she was never challenged. Reforest, the 11-10 favorite ridden by Jerry Bailey edged past Boston Express and Eddie Castro to finish second by three-quarters of a length.

Sellers said he doubted that Dazzle Me was quick enough to control the pace.

"She outbroke the outside horse I've been running against at Churchill (Anna Em) and she is a very fast filly, and she couldn't stay with me early. She ran a big, big race today.

"She was stopping (late) and I thought the heat had something to do with it," Sellers added. "It's got me stopping. I thought somebody would come and catch me but they were stopping behind me. It's probably the wind more than the heat and a tiring racetrack."

Owned by Padua Stables and trained by Steve Asmussen, Dazzle Me was the sixth choice in the field of seven, sent off at odds of nearly 9-1.

"No, I really wasn't surprised to see her on the lead, Asmussen said. She's a really fast filly."

She was two lengths in front of Boston Express at the head of the stretch and drew away under pressure from Sellers, paying $19.80, $6.60 and $3.80.

Asmussen said he would point Dazzle Me to the Test (gr.I) at Saratoga July 31, a race he won last year with Lady Tak.

Dazzle Me, a Kentucky-bred gray/roan daughter of Tactical Cat out of Social Girl, by Chief's Crown, has lost just once in five lifetime starts. She was coming off a three-length allowance win at Churchill Downs June 20. She earned $177,000 for the victory and has now banked $265,561.

Reforest, who was after her third straight win for trainer Babby Frankel, was compromised by a wide trip, but finished up well. She returned $3.40 and $2.60 and compelted a $73.40 exacta.

Boston Express moved up nicely to challenge on the turn after stalking from the rail, but tired. She was $4.40 to show.

Frenchglen, Chatter Chatter, Anna Em and French Village completed the order.

(Chart, Equibase)