Surfside, 3-year-old filly Eclipse Award winner.

Surfside, 3-year-old filly Eclipse Award winner.

Barbara D. Livingston

Eclipse Awards: 3-Year-Old Filly: Surfside

Surfside's pedigree

Surfside's 3-year-old season began the same way it ended--with a victory in a graded stakes race. Particularly impressive about the feat is that Surfside began 2000 in the middle of nine straight in-the-money finishes and suffered an injury halfway through her season, requiring time off. Her reward is an Eclipse Award as top 3-year-old filly.

Surfside's 2-year-old season also put her in the running for a championship. From August to December she won four of her six races, including the grade I Frizette and Hollywood Starlet and finished third to Cash Run and Chilukki in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).

No one can know for sure where Surfside got her tenacity, but chances are good her dam, Flanders, had something to do with it. Flanders won the 1994 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) on a fractured leg that forced her immediate retirement. Ironically, that day she beat another steel-strong filly trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Serena's Song.

Flanders' first foal is completely laid back in the barn, but on the racetrack she is a bullet. In 11 of her 13 lifetime starts, Surfside has been on the lead for all or part of the first six furlongs. In eight of those instances, she also finished ahead of the field.

Surfside won the Santa Ysabel (gr. III), Las Virgenes, and Santa Anita Oaks (both grade I) in her first three starts of 2000. An uncertain Kentucky Derby (gr. I) picture put her in the hunt for the Run for the Roses, starting with the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I). After leading for the first six furlongs, Surfside gave way to the guys and finished fifth that day behind the likes of The Deputy, War Chant, and Captain Steve. After the race, bone chips were discovered in one of her ankles. Soon after surgery she returned to her birthplace, owner W.T. Young's Overbrook Farm near Lexington to recuperate.

Surfside resumed training in September and returned to the racetrack in October where she immediately faced the stiff task of going seven furlongs off an extended layoff. She took on five other fillies in Keeneland's Raven Run Stakes, and ran gamely to finish second, just 1 1/4 lengths behind Darling My Darling. Her next start came against the best of the best in the Breed ers' Cup Distaff (gr. I), and Surfside responded by leading for the majority of the 1 1/8-mile event at Churchill Downs before stablemate Spain caught her in the final furlong to win by 1 1/2 lengths.

Surfside's final race of 2000 brought her back to face the boys once again. In the Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 24, she ran strong throughout the nine-furlong race as she beat eight male rivals, including the graded stakes-winning Guided Tour, by four lengths.

In Surfside's first race of 2001, the Jan. 27 Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita, she finished third, four lengths behind Nany's Sweep and Serenita.