Racing over a track rated 'fast' following earlier rain, Mani Bhavan broke on the lead from her far outside post and was never threatened while getting away at odds of nearly 9-1. With jockey Alan Garcia looking over each shoulder for a challenger, the daughter of Storm Boot left her rivals at the head of the stretch and cruised to a seven-length victory. The final time for the 6 1/2-furlong event for 2-year-old fillies was a dull 1:18.09.
Trained by Steve Klesaris for owner TYB Stable, Mani Bhavan, a $30,000 Keeneland yearling buy last September, is yet to trail at any call in her two races.
"She has amazing quickness and my feeling was she would be out front," Klesaris said. "She showed a lot of ability and I really expected her to run well. She ran a little better than I expected. It’s nice when you have a pleasant surprise like her.”
The winner produced a quick opening quarter mile of :22.36 before settling into a half clocked in :46.10. As pace foes Garden District and Simplify lost their punch rounding the turn, Mani Bhavan took command. Doremifasollatido, who broke slowly for Eibar Coa, gained the second spot in the stretch run and nosed the late-running Pretty Prolific and Julien Leparoux to complete the exacta.
“My filly was a little nervous in the gate," Garcia said of the winner. "When (the starter) opened the door to the gate, she was going right to the lead. After that, she was gone.”
Bold Union, the 6-5 favorite in the field of eight after winning her first two starts by a combined margin of 20 1/2 lengths, finished an even fourth after being difficult to settle in the gate. She pressed the pace for most of the journey, but didn't appear to appreciate being caught behind horses while stuck on the inside under Stewart Elliott.
“She didn't run her race," said Kelly Breen, trainer of the beaten favorite. "I don't know if she was trapped on the inside or if it was something else, but she didn't fire.”
Bred in Kentucky by Hermitage Farm, the dark bay Mani Bhavan is out of the Coronado's Quest mare Rehear. She boosted her earnings to $114,000 with the $90,000 winner's share.
Mani Bhaven was ridden out in her impressive maiden debut July 12 at Delaware when she was timed in :57 3/5 for five furlongs.
The winner rewarded her backers with a payoff of $19.40, $9.40, and $5.60. Doremifasollatido, who beat New York-bred maiden fillies by six lengths in her most recent start for trainer James Jerkens, returned $8 and $6.10, capping a $2 exacta worth $106. The James Baker-trained Pretty Prolific, who won her maiden debut by 3 1/2 lengths at Churchill Downs June 22, was $7.10 to show.
It was 1 1/4 lengths to Bold Union. She was followed by Simplify, Garden District, Dorothy's Essense and Golden Artemis.
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