Three Chimneys Farm's Carina Mia seems to have found her sweet spot.
The 3-year-old Malibu Moon filly earned her first grade I score at Belmont Park in the $700,000 Acorn Stakes (gr. I) June 11, a one-turn mile that followed her six-length victory in the seven-furlong Eight Belles (gr. II) May 6 at Churchill Downs.
A front-runner early in her career, she dropped back to sixth and closed to win the Eight Belles and did the same in the Acorn, trailing the tightly-packed field of six under a tight hold by jockey Julien Leparoux early.
The Bill Mott-trained filly moved up between horses early in the turn, angled out five wide late in the bend as heavily favored Cathryn Sophia took command, and put away the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner en route to a 1 1/4-length victory. Off the Tracks rallied late to pass Cathryn Sophia for second.
"I thought I was going to be behind Cathryn Sophia and Go Maggie Go, but I saw them go away from there, so I decided to sit just off of them," Leparoux said. "I felt confident at the top of the stretch. I came around everyone and she kicked on at the end."
Paola Queen, the longest shot on the board at 35-1, set fractions of :23.05 and :46.17 through a half-mile. Cathryn Sophia hit the front to run six furlongs in 1:10.23, but the lead was short-lived and Carina Mia finished off the mile in 1:34.97.
"We thought there was speed in there," Mott said. "It actually turned out to be a little bit more than what we thought."
Carina Mia paid $6.10, $3.90, and $2.40 across the board, while Off the Tracks brought $8 and $3.20, and Cathryn Sophia delivered $2.10 to show.
"I had a good trip," said Cathryn Sophia's jockey, Javier Castellano. "I don't know why she didn't finish today, but we'll figure it out."
Last out Black-Eyed Susan (gr. II) winner Go Maggie Go raced in second early, but wasn't a factor late in finishing 3 1/4 lengths back in fourth, followed by Paola Queen and Forever Darling to complete the order of finish.
The Acorn was Carina Mia's third graded victory and the win more than doubled her lifetime earnings to $684,120. Bred by Spendthrift Farm out of the Southern Halo mare Miss Simpatia, she has a 4-1-0 record from six starts.