Pantofel Stable, Wachtel Stable, and Peter Deutsch's California-bred Spiced Perfection (4-1) put in an athletic performance to win Saturday's Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes, overcoming a bad stumble at the start, closing from last and holding off the challenge of Dawn the Destroyer to win by a head on the wire. The 4-year-old daughter of Smiling Tiger, ridden by Javier Castellano for trainer Peter Miller, ran six furlongs over Keeneland's fast main track in 1:10.60.
The victory earns her an expenses-paid berth to the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint next month at Santa Anita.
Spiced Perfection stumbled badly and nearly lost Castellano at the start, but managed to regain her balance and find her stride at the rear of the field. Up front, Talk Veuve to Me pulled away to lead by 1 1/2 lengths through a first quarter in 22.14 seconds, with Mia Mischief hot on her heels in second.
Castellano wound Spiced Perfection through the field, finding clear room in the stretch to take the lead at the sixteenth pole. Dawn the Destroyer was rolling late but came up a head short on the wire, settling for second. Mia Mischief finished third, while 2-1 favorite Chalon was fourth.
“She stumbled really bad coming out of the gate,” said Castellano. “She recovered pretty quick and we kept tracking the speed. We got through a little, tiny hole at the eighth pole. The filly was very brave to go through that hole and get it done.”
Bred in California by Premier Thoroughbreds, Spiced Perfection is out of the winning Pleasantly Perfect mare Perfect Feat. Now a millionaire, the filly has wins in the G1 La Brea and G1 Madison on her resume. Spiced Perfection's overall record stands at eight wins from 18 starts, as well as five seconds and two thirds.
“This horse has been great ever since she started racing,” said Bob Flynn, a part owner of Spiced Perfection. “Eighteen races now, eight wins and she just never quits. (A secured spot in the starting gate of the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint-G1) sounds great. Sounds wonderful. I've never had one in the Breeders' Cup.”
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