Amerman Racing LLC's Coffee Clique rallied from off the pace to win Sunday's $153,600 Grade 3 Selene Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by Brian Lynch, the three-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro was full of run through the stretch under rider Luis Contreras to score a four-length win in the 1 1/16-mile ‘Poly' stake.
Leigh Court set swift splits of :23.24 and :46.66 while opening up a 10-length lead down the backstretch as Coffee Clique and Thats Our Princess stalked from a distance.
Contreras urged Coffee Clique into contention through the turn with Overheard following his cue to converge on Leigh Court at the top of the lane.
Overheard threatened briefly, but once Contreras shook the reins his filly responded with a powerful kick to take the spoils in a final running time of 1:43.63. Nipissing closed along the rail to win a place photo from Overheard.
Contreras wasn't too concerned about the runaway pacesetter in the early stages of the Selene.
“I got a perfect trip,” said Contreras. “I knew there was crazy speed in the race, but I just tried to relax and save my horse until the end. I had a lot of horse and she gave me everything.”
Coffee Clique kept busy over the winter racing four times at Gulfstream Park, winning a turf allowance and notching a third-place effort in the Secret Grace Stakes last time out.
Lynch believes that having Contreras breeze the filly in advance of the Selene was a key factor in her performance.
“She's a great little filly, very honest,” said Lynch. “Luis got to work her during the week as she's not long up from Keeneland
. I think he was very confident after that work and rode her very nicely today. She's very versatile, looks like the ‘Poly' and the turf…that's her number.”
The conditioner has prepared the bay for what he hopes will be a lucrative campaign at Woodbine.
“I didn't want to over race her (in Florida),” said Lynch. “It's very tempting when you have a three-year-old filly to get creative down there, but we feel like the program up here for three-year-olds is great and we want to save her for that and have a fresh horse.”
Coffee Clique banked $90,000 in victory, while improving her record to 3-1-0 from six career starts.
She returned $7.60, $3.60 and $2.70, pairing with Nipissing ($3.20, $2.50) for a $21.50 (8-2) exactor. An 8-2-4 (Overheard, $3 to show) triactor was worth $26.90. Spring Venture completed a $1 Superfecta (8-2-4-3) worth $57. Takeyourbreathaway was scratched.
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