Team Valor International's Capla Temptress began her career overseas, but shipped over to North America to earn her first graded stakes victory at 5-1 in Sunday's G1 Natalma Stakes at Woodbine. The juvenile daughter of Lope de Vega, ridden by Joel Rosario for trainer Marco Botti, covered a mile over the firm turf in 1:35.12 to earn an expenses-paid berth to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. The 2-1 favorite Wonder Gadot finished third.
“She broke very nice and for a second I had a little clear spot. I was just looking to follow Patrick [Husbands]. He was on one of the speed horses [Wonder Gadot] on the outside,” said Rosario. “I was trying to let her be behind somebody all the time. She was very nice. I had to tap her a little bit on the backside to get her attention. After that, she did the job.”
Both Dixie Moon and Delamar were quick off the blocks, jumping out two lengths ahead of the field to vie for the lead. Dixie Moon got the better of those two, leading by about a half-length through fractions of :23.69 and :47.58. Capla Temptress broke with the field but was a bit slow into stride, settling near the rear of the field on the outside of rivals. Rosario cleverly moved her between horses to get cover in the field, keeping her within six or seven lengths of the leader.
Rounding the far turn, race favorite Wonder Gadot came up to challenge three wide while Rosario ever-so-patiently waited behind a wall of horses. At the three-sixteenths pole he appeared to have nowhere to run as Dixie Moon led Wonder Gadot by over a length, but a hole finally opened at the eighth pole and Capla Temptress showed her turn of foot.
In the final sixteenth Capla Temptress came flying down the center of the course to easily pass her rivals, pricking her ears as she passed the wire three-quarters of a length in front of pacesetter Dixie Moon. Wonder Gadot had to settle for third, while March X Press finished fourth.
Bred in Ireland by Pier House Stud, Capla Temptress was a $29,263 yearling at Goffs, purchased by Jamie Lloyd. The filly won at first asking at Chelmsford City and won again in her second start at Newmarket, then ran third in the Group 3 Sweet Solera Stakes in her most recent start. The Natalma improves Capla Temptress' record to three wins from four starts for earnings of over $220,000.
“I bought her with this plan in mind,” noted owner Barry Irwin from Team Valor. “She's a fighter. She's small, but she's got a long stride and she's all heart.”
Bill Mott will take over the training of Capla Temptress as Team Valor points her to the Breeders' Cup.
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