Juvenile filly Graceful Princess, the blue-blooded daughter of Tapit and 2011 Horse of the Year Havre De Grace, won her debut on Sunday at Saratoga Race Course. Trained by Ralph Nicks and ridden by Manny Franco, Graceful Princess took the lead shortly after the start and carried on through the wire to win by 1 3/4 lengths, completing seven furlongs in 1:23.58.
Graceful Princess is owned by Mandy Pope's Whisper Hill Farm. After the race, Pope told drf.com that the filly will not be rushed to get to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, explaining that she and Nicks had been that route before with Tap To It in 2015. That filly would win just one of her seven career starts.
“Mentally it was way too much and she never came back to be the horse she could have been,” Pope said. “So I just very much want for [Graceful Princess] to have a very good 3-year-old and 4-year-old season and do right by her and not [rush her] because I want to go to the Breeders' Cup. It'll be up to her. She has to be begging to go. Everything has to be right, I'm not going to press it.”
All hands on horse! Graceful Princess, daughter of Woodward winner and HOTY Havre de Grace, was showered with appreciation after scoring in her debut at #Saratoga for owner/breeder Mandy Pope and trainer @ralphnks. @timber_town @hlynnsm @jockeyfranco pic.twitter.com/6tMsLf0z8f
— NYTHA (@NewYorkTHA) September 2, 2018
— TVG (@TVG) September 2, 2018
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