"Malibu Moon mare will target Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) next out."
(courtesy of Bloodhorse Magazine - By Meredith Daugherty)
Blue Devil Racing Stable's homebred Come Dancing lived up to her odds-on favoritism Sept. 22 and scored another graded stakes victory with ease in the $300,750 Gallant Bloom Handicap (G2) at Belmont Park.
Fresh off a win in the Aug. 24 Ketel One Ballerina Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course, Come Dancing and Javier Castellano had only four foes standing in the way of the Gallant Bloom trophy when they left the gate Sunday. Just off the pace from the break in third, Come Dancing was held back as Carrera Cat and jockey Rajiv Maragh led through a half mile in :44.99. Minit to Stardom rode the rail in second under Alex Cintron.
Carrera Cat's lead began to wane under continued pressure from Minit to Stardom and Come Dancing. Traveling in the three path, Come Dancing skirted past her rivals as they turned for home and had a one-length lead when they hit the stretch in 1:08.45. Cintron asked Minit to Stardom for more and the filly responded, drawing on even terms with Come Dancing with determined will.
Less than 100 yards from the wire, Castellano and Come Dancing put some much-needed distance between them and Minit to Stardom. Despite a gallant effort, Minit to Stardom lacked the energy to mount a second challenge and drifted back to second as Come Dancing crossed the wire 3 1/4 lengths clear. The final time for the 6 1/2-furlong test was 1:14.96 over a fast track.
"I didn't want to let her break and dictate the pace," Castellano said. "It's a five-horse field, and (Carrera Cat
and Minit to Stardom) were the speed. I wanted to let her break slowly and then pick it up little by little and get my spot.
"My goal today was just to take it easy and put everything together for the Breeders' Cup. I think this race is going to bridge the gap to the Breeders' Cup. I didn't want to squeeze the lemon. I wanted to win nice and easy, but I don't want to overdo it." Majestic Reason finished third, four lengths ahead of Carrera Cat. Jc's Shooting Star took up the rear.
"I initially had said some things right after her last race that I just was going to wait until the Breeders' Cup, but she was just doing so well," trainer Carlos Martin said. "I did some research with the team, and it was a perfect prep, timing-wise. The more I thought about it, the more I felt confident in running her today. Marc Holliday and the Blue Devil team have stuck with us through some tough times, and I'm glad to see her at her best as a 5-year-old."
Martin said Come Dancing is more firmly on track than ever to make her next start in the Nov. 2 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita Park. For Martin, a win in the World Championships would mean more than adding another grade 1 win to his filly's résumé.
"I was with my dad (Jose Martin) when he trained Groovy. Unfortunately, we got beat as the favorite in the 1987 Breeders' Cup Sprint. Those are some bittersweet memories in California, so hopefully we can make it right after all those years and get a Breeders' Cup win for the family.
Bred in Kentucky out of the Tiznow mare Tizahit, Come Dancing has eight wins and two seconds from 13 starts. The daughter of Malibu Moon has amassed earnings of $1,054,950. Tizahit has an unraced 2-year-old filly by Ghostzapper named So Darn Hot and a yearling full brother to Come Dancing.
Carlos Martin Racing would like to congratulate Marc Holliday of Blue Devil Racing along with all his family & friends on another impressive win for Come Dancing. It's now on to a date with destiny as we soon head to California for the Breeder's Cup Filly and Mare Sprint on November 2nd.
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