|"Breeders' Cup!," trainer Stanley Gold shouted in the winner's circle after Saturday's $350,000 My Dear Girl Stakes at Calder. Clearly flush with excitement and pride for his filly Awesome Feather, Gold has good reason to be excited about being in Louisville for the BC Juvenile Fillies on November 5. In a performance that left her rider Jeffrey Sanchez searching for competition, Awesome Feather left no doubt that she is the best juvenile in Florida as she smoked her competition yesterday by more than eight lengths. The victory in the final leg of the filly division of the Florida Stallion Series completed an authoritative sweep and sends the daughter of Awesome of Course to the Breeders’ Cup undefeated in five starts. While the rest of the nation may be wondering who’s that girl, anyone who has seen her run at the South Florida oval knows that she is the genuine article. |
It was the fourth consecutive convincing stakes win for the bay filly after winning her debut in a maiden race on May 1. Awesome Feather is a Florida homebred of owner Jacks or Better Farm, the same stable that campaigned Jackson Bend to juvenile domination at Calder before selling him last Fall. The My Dear Girl win was the first at a two-turns for Awesome Feather who has progressed each race in distance from the 4 ½ furlong maiden, to wins in the J J‘s Dream, Desert Vixen, and finally the Susan‘s Girl Stakes at seven furlongs. Gold had mentioned that a good performance yesterday would earn her a trip to the Breeders’ Cup and yesterday, he got even more than he bargained for from his undefeated star.
Awesome Feather broke sharply and was content to sit right off the early pacesetter, My Precious Baby. The race never looked in doubt as her jockey Sanchez sat like a statue on the fluid moving filly. Awesome Feather eased by the speed on the far turn and quickly opened up with little or no urging. Sanchez took a few looks, but their was no one there. She effortlessly extended her advantage to reach the wire 8 ¼ lengths better than second place finisher Lily’s Hope. Awesome Feather finished the mile and one-sixteenth under wraps in 1:48.05. A time that doesn’t seem like much until you consider the winner of the male division of the Florida Stallion Series, Reprized Halo, ran almost a full 2 ½ seconds slower yesterday over the traditionally slow Calder surface.
Yesterday, she answered the distance question, next will come the class test. The competition she will face in the Breeders’ Cup will be a big step up for Awesome Feather, but she may be enough horse to prove too much for even that competition. If I was Stanley Gold, I would be excited too.
Photo by Jim Lisa