Blueeyesintherein circled around horses on the far turn and powered clear in the stretch to win Saturday’s 112th running of the Grade III, $112,200 Debutante at Churchill Downs by 2 ½ lengths over Quiet Success.
Blueeyesintherein ran six furlongs over a fast track in 1:11.71 to give trainer Garry Simms his second straight win in the stakes event for 2-year-old fillies. Simms, who has waged a battle with multiple myeloma since early 2010, began training in 1992 and collected his first Churchill Downs stakes win a year ago with Flashy Lassie in the Debutante.
“I’ve been through a lot, but a lot of people have it a lot worse than I do,” Simms said. “Today’s win is a blessing from above and I’m really happy for my owners and my team.”
Leandro Goncalves rode the winner for owners Dorothy Self, Berry King, Travis Morgenson IV LLC and Burr Travis et al.
Blueeyesintherein, a 2-year-old daughter of Magna Graduate out of the Mr. Greeley mare Tartufi, settled behind Dancing Elliebelle, Richie’slilcowgirl and My Daughter’s Song, who vied for the early lead through fractions of :22.16 and :46.40. Goncalves, looking to get in the clear, moved Blueeyesintherein four-wide midway through the race, took over the lead at the top of the stretch and stayed clear under steady urging.
“I had horses all over me,” Goncalves said. “I had to work my way out. She didn’t have the best trip, but good horses are always able to overcome things and that’s what she did.”
Blueeyesintherein paid $4, $3 and $2.40 as the even-money favorite in the field of 10 two-year-old fillies. Quiet Success, who finished willingly up the rail, returned $9 and $4.40. Shesakitty was another half-length back in third after a rough start and paid $3.20. Love Me Good, Floral Sky, Dancing Elliebelle, Neith, My Daughter’s Song, Truthandknowledge and Richie’slilcowgirl completed the order of finish.
Bred in Kentucky by Elisabeth Alexander, Blueeyesintherein received a $66,086 first prize and remained unbeaten in two starts with $100,466. She debuted May 31 at Churchill Downs with a convincing 3 ¾-length score over Shesakitty.
The Debutante was the first North American graded stakes race of the year for 2-year-old fillies and is one of Churchill Downs’ most storied races. It was first run in 1895.
Earlier on the 11-race program, Maggi Moss’ Delaunay won the $67,000 Kelly’s Landing and leading rider Corey Lanerie won four races.
Delaunay, also ridden by Goncalves, clocked seven furlongs in 1:22.77 and beat Noble’s Promise by three-quarters of a length. Moss and trainer Tom Amoss claimed the 5-year-old Smoke Glacken gelding for $40,000 on May 12 and got a quick return on their investment. The winner’s share was $37,200 and improved his résumé to eight wins and $274,100 from 32 starts.
The Kelly’s Landing was the second win of the day for Amoss, who tied Dale Romans for the lead in the Churchill Downs trainer standings with 16 victories.
Meanwhile, Lanerie increased his lead over Shaun Bridgmohan in the jockey standings, 63-40, after wins aboard Gruenewald ($8.40), American Kitty ($5), Stay Sees Mom ($8.80) and Karlovy Vary ($3.60). It was the sixth time this season that Lanerie had won at least four races in a day. He enters the final five days of the 39-day Spring Meet averaging 1.85 wins per day while pursing his first local riding title. Hall of Fame jockey and local legend Pat Day won 169 races and averaged 1.82 wins per day during an extended 93-day Spring/Summer meeting in 1983. Day also averaged 1.64 wins per day during the 1991 Spring Meet when he won 90 races over 55 days.
Racing at Churchill Downs continues Sunday with a 10-race program that begins at 12:45 p.m. ET. A $8,068 Super Hi-5 carryover awaits bettors on the final race of the day.
Garry Simms, trainer of Blueeyesintherein, winner: “We came into this race with a lot of confidence. I thought we were the best on paper, but it’s a horse race and anything can happen. She really showed a lot of class and heart today and looked a lot like her sire, Magna Graduate, who I trained at the beginning of his career. I had déjà vu watching her run.”
On winning this race in back-to-back years: “Anytime you can win a big race at a place like Churchill Downs two years in a row, it’s a big deal. It feels great.”
On getting this win while battling cancer for the last two years: “I’ve been through a lot, but a lot of people have it a lot worse than I do. Today’s win is a blessing from above and I’m really happy for my owners and my team.”
Q: What's next?: “We've got a couple of options. There’s the Schuylerville (GIII at Saratoga on July 20) and the Mountaineer Juvenile Fillies (at Mountaineer on Aug. 4). Either way she’ll have about four to six weeks before her next start.”
Leandro Goncalves, jockey on Blueeyesintherein, winner: “She broke well and I decided to lay her off the pace. Around the half-mile pole, we got in a lot of traffic. From there to the quarter-pole, I had horses all over me. I had to work my way out. She didn’t have the best trip, but good horses are always able to overcome things and that’s what she did.”
Q: Was this extra special to win a race for your good friend, Garry Simms?: “It’s very, very special. We all know that two years ago we almost lost him. Garry was the first person in Kentucky to help me and he’s like a dad to me. He’s been there to help me and to teach me to do things the right way. It’s a dream to get this win for him.”
Tom Amoss, trainer of Quiet Success, second: “I’m happy for Garry. He’s got a really nice filly and she ran great today. I’m a fan of his, so that worked out well for everybody.”
Q: You ride Leandro (Goncalves) a lot. Had he been telling you anything about this winner? “Yeah, he told me I was running for second, and he was right.”
Q: Any thoughts about the future for Quiet Success? “No. I didn’t know what to expect today, so obviously we’re pleased. I’ll sit down with the owners and we’ll come up with a game plan.”
Miguel Mena, jockey on Quiet Success, second: “She really ran good. We were able to stay pretty close with her and she really finished well. We went inside of that filly (Blueeyesintherein) in the stretch, but I was very happy with the way she finished. The winner looks like a really good filly, but our filly ran well.”
Lon Wiggins, trainer of Shesakitty, third: “She ran really well. We were proud of her. It was a lot to ask of a maiden, but we were pretty proud of her and thought she deserved a chance. She got a little late right toward the end of the race, but she went pretty wide around there. She got banged around at the start pretty good. But that’s horse racing.”
Q: What about the next step? Will you drop her back into maiden company? “I would think, at this point, that we would run her in a maiden race. Maybe we’ll give her a little extra time and get her feet back underneath her. She was a little ratty in the (starting) gate today, so we still need to do some work there.
“She’s a nice filly. She walks in the paddock and just stands there like a pony and doesn’t get rattled about anything. The gate is really the first thing that’s ever really got her rattled, and that was today. It was kind of unexpected.”
Calvin Borel, jockey on Shesakitty, third: “I thought she ran good. They kind of sandwiched me leaving there, but I was fine. She gave me that pretty little run. She’ll be all right. She’ll step up from here on, I think.”
Q: The winner looks like a nice filly … “She’s a very nice filly and you’re going to hear about her. But I’m very comfortable with my filly. I wouldn’t change nothing.”
Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 4, 2013, and its 2012 Spring Meet is scheduled for April 28-July 1. The track has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record eight times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.
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