Joseph Allen's Roar Emotion and jockey John Velazquez dictated the pace and went on to an easy two-length victory over Savedbythelight in Aqueduct's $200,000 Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) for 2-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 mile Saturday.
The Jose Martin-trained Roar filly won in a time of 1:51 2/5 on a fast track. She opened up a three-length lead over Xtra Heart on the backstretch in early fractions of :23 3/5 and 47 1/5 and maintained a solid advantage over Savedbythelight when she moved into contention in splits of 1:11 4/5 and 1:37 3/5 for the mile.
Martin picked up his first stakes training win since embarking on a recent comeback. It was the third Demoiselle winner for the 59-year-old conditioner, who won this race in 1987 with Goodbye Halo and in 1984 with Diplomette.
"I told Johnny (Velazquez) with the way she's been training and the inside post . . well, the more you looked at it, there was no speed outside," Martin said. "How could we take her back from the inside? We hate to go a mile and an eighth on the lead, but we were forced to do that. I told Johnny to ride her like she was the best horse and hopefully, she'll get you home.
"She's a good filly and she proved it today, but I would have liked to have seen her come from off the pace."
As easy as it was for Roar Emotion, the Demoiselle was disastrous for favored Fircroft, the winner of the off-the-turf Miss Grillo here last month.
"I can't make any excuses about the pace," said trainer George "Rusty" Arnold. "She did not fire a step. She's done for the year."
Roar Emotion picked up a $120,000 check with the win, her second in three career outings. After breaking her maiden at Belmont Sept. 22 by 10 1/2 lengths, she was sent off at 3-20 odds against a Belmont allowance field Oct. 18. But she stumbled at the start and finished second, beaten by 3 1/2 lengths.
Bred in Kentucky by Brenda Jones, Roar Emotion was a $37,000 Ocala Breeders' Sale purchase in April.
Sent off at 5-2 in the field of 10, Roar Emotion paid $7.80, $4.70 and $4.10. Savedbythelight returned $8.80 and $6. Feisty Step closed for third and paid $9.70. The $2 exacta was $62.