Paulassilverlining proved the astute judgment of Juddmonte Farms' advisors April 8 in the $300,000 Madison Stakes (G1) at Keeneland, gamely defeating pacesetter Constellation in her first start for her new connections.
The 5-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper , a private purchase by Juddmonte six weeks ago, ran for the first time since her Dec. 10 Garland of Roses score at Aqueduct Racetrack, which she earned after a third in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1). She was primed by trainer Chad Brown to claim her first grade 1, and finished seven furlongs in 1:23.68 under jockey Jose Ortiz.
"Obviously we have a stallion prospect at the moment in Arrogate ," said Juddmonte manager Garrett O'Rourke. "We were thinking of bolstering the broodmare band with really solid dirt-type fillies, and this filly was one that we looked at last year and made a run at her this year, and were lucky enough to get her.
"I have to give credit to (former trainer) Michelle Nevin, who had the filly, and did an absolutely fantastic job with her. Chad was the first one to say that (Paulassilverlining) came to him in perfect order, and Chad put the finishing touches on her."
Constellation held tough for second after placing the same in the March 5 Las Flores Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park, while Paid Up Subscriber completed the trifecta for Brown in her first outing since a second in Keeneland's Oct. 9 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (G1). The order of finish was completed by Mines and Magic, Kathballu, Wheatfield, High Ridge Road, Ponder Lea, and Clothes Fall Off.
Ortiz kept 9-5 choice Paulassilverlining fourth in the three path as Constellation showed the field of nine older fillies and mares through opening fractions of :23.03 and :46.40. As three-quarters went in 1:10.90, Constellation swung wide off the turn and opened the door for Paulassilverlining to cut the corner and dive through.
Under strong urging, the bay mare hooked up with Constellation, who fought back with determination on the outside but in the end was edged by a neck.
"She broke really well," Ortiz said. "When I cut the corner at the quarter pole, she kicked on.”
"I honestly thought (Constellation) was going to go by her, but I should have looked at (Paulassilverlining’s) previous record," O'Rourke said. "You can see how tough she is—she is as tough as nails. It’s great for her record now. She’s a grade 1 winner, she was Breeders’ Cup placed, and this adds huge merit to her broodmare value. I think she’s very deserving of it for how hard she tries, so I’m very delighted for her sake as well."
Paulassilverlining, who was bred in Kentucky by Vince Scuderi out of the winning Grindstone mare Seeking the Silver, became the 10th grade 1 winner for her Adena Springs sire. A half sister to grade 1 winner Dads Caps, she improved her record to 9-4-3 from 19 starts, with earnings of $1,188,950. She returned $5.60, $3.20, and $2.60.
“I’m in a real fortunate spot today," Brown said. "We’ll probably point to Churchill (Downs) for the (grade 1) Humana Distaff (May 6). We thought about that even before this race. I’ll speak to Garrett and see how she comes out of this race. We’re happy to have her.”