Foxy Danseur Wires Sharp Cat
Ridden by Mike Smith, the daughter of Mr. Greeley earned her first stakes win for owner Charles Cono and trainer Christopher Paasch. Facing just four rivals in the 1 1/16-mile prep for the Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) Dec. 15, Foxy Danseur was sent off at odds of 4-5.
"The Starlet has been our goal since the beginning of the year," said Paasch.
Foxy Danseur set all the pace, much of it under strong pressure from Champagne Eyes on her inside, before inching away late under left-handed urging from Smith. She won despite drifting in late. The final time, 1:43 on the Cushion Track, came after she carved fractions of :23.84, :47.49 and 1:11.98.
"She was so relaxed I just stayed where I was, and when I called on her, she responded real well," said Smith.
The victory, Foxy Danseur's second in seven lifetime starts, was worth $67,100, nearly doubling her career earnings to $138,304. The dark bay filly was making her first start beyond seven furlongs for Paasch.
Paasch and Cono teamed to win the Starlet two years ago with outsider Diplomat Lady.
"Mike said she relaxed the best she has ever relaxed for him today, and I was real happy the way she came home," said Paasch.
Foxy Danseur was coming off a narrow defeat when second by a neck to Golden Doc A in Oak Tree's six-furlong Anoakia Oct. 20 on Santa Anita's Cushion Track. She had recently finished eighth in the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) as a maiden.
McCann, Goldsher, Lehmann, et al. bred Foxy Danseur in Kentucky. The $280,000 Ocala buy in March is out of Ravish Me, by Wild Again.
Ridden by Michael Baze, Champagne Eyes, clung to the winner for most of the journey and proved second best by 3 1/4 lengths over Czechers, who ran third all the way around. Highland Torree and Always in Style trailed.
Foxy Danseur paid $3.60, $2.40 and $2.10. Champagne Eyes, who debuted for trainer Doug O'Neill with a fourth-place finish in the Anoakia, returned $3 and $2.60. Czechers, with David Flores aboard, was $3.20 to show.
Veteran jockey Patrick Valenzuela, 45, returned to the California circuit for the first time in nearly one year with three mounts. Valenzuela finished fourth aboard Caddymaster in the seventh race, second on Obrigado in the eighth and 11th on Ava D in the ninth.
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