Stephen Fidel’s Cosmic Evolution turned back a powerful trio of fillies trained by Steve Asmussen to score her first career victory in a 1 ½-length triumph the $100,000 Debutante Stakes for 2-year-old fillies on Saturday, June 27 at Churchill Downs.
Calvin Borel was aboard the chestnut daughter of Proud Citizen rallied from just off the pace in the six-furlong race and stubbornly held off runner-up Adhara, the Asmussen-trained even-money favorite, for the win. Trained by Lon Wiggins, Cosmic Evolution covered six furlongs in 1:11.89 over a fast track
Cosmic Evolution, the 5-1 fourth choice in the Debutante, paid #$12.60, $3.20 and $2.80. Adhara, ridden by Corey Lanerie, returned $2.80 and $2.20. Areolite, who had beaten Cosmic Evolution in her prior start in the career debut for both fillies, finished third as the 2-1 second choice under Julien Leparoux and paid $2.20 to show. The third Asmussen-trained filly and third wagering choice Thievery finished fifth.
“We got beat the first time but she needed (the race),” Borel said. “I came back and told Lon that those horses would never beat her again. She stood up to the plate.”
Cosmic Evolution’s Debutante win improved her record to 1-1-0 in two races and the $60,760 winner’s share of the $100,000 purse improved her bankroll to $69,560.
Tia Chuy finished fourth,12 lengths ahead of fifth-place Thievery. Sheza Fine Justice and Langstars Charmer rounded out the field of seven. Don’t Boss Me was a late scratch.
LON WIGGINS, trainer of COSMIC EVOLUTION (winner): “She broke sharp; that really helped. And Calvin (Borel) got her to relax good. When he called on her she came running.
“I’ll have to watch the replay a couple of times because it looked like she was trying to drift out a little bit, pulling on that left rein. But she ran good. She ran real good.”
CALVIN BOREL, jockey on COSMIC EVOLUTION (winner): “I’ve been working her. You know, we got beat the first time but she needed it. I came back and told Lon (Wiggins) that those horses would never beat her again. She stood up to the plate.
“She was trying to drift a little bit with me today. Maybe she was a little bit anxious because, boy, she wanted to run early and I didn’t want her in front today. She relaxed under me and where I wanted her. When I asked her she went on like a good horse. That’s the way you do it.
“Lon told me to do what I want. … We’re worried about the future and down the road where we know she can finish.
“I’m gonna take a little break over the summer to rest up, vacation and heal but I’ll be there (for Cosmic Evolution), don’t you worry about that!”
STEVE ASMUSSEN, trainer of ADHARA (runner-up), AREOLITE (third) and THIEVERY (fifth): “We were second, third and fifth. I was expecting better.”
COREY LANERIE, jockey on ADHARA (runner-up): “She had a good trip on the rail, but I don’t think she was really too enthusiastic about being down there. I think if maybe I could have gotten her outside she would have given me a little more effort down the lane and we could have given the winner a run for it and maybe got by her. But it’s hard to say. At the time that I chose to stay on the rail, the leader was so far off of it in front of me that I couldn’t’ give it up.”
JULIEN LEPAROUX, jockey on AREOLITE (third): “I was in a good a spot early. She was traveling good and made a run outside, but she was kind of grinding at the end. She just wasn’t good enough today.”