Vincent Scuderi's homebred Paulassilverlining was the easy winner of Sunday's Grade 3 Distaff Handicap, drawing away at the head of the lane to win by 3 3/4 lengths. The 4-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper covered the seven furlongs over Aqueduct's fast main track in 1:22.01 for trainer Michelle Nevin.
“She's been training so well and in her last couple of runs, she's turned up every time,” said Nevin. “She's really coming along. Paula's run well going six, seven, a mile; she always tries, always shows up. She's really improved over the last couple of months. We're heading the right way. She's been doing so good, we were expecting a big run from her. But Cavorting is a nice too, actually there were a couple of really nice fillies in here, so she had to show up and she did.”
Sharpest out of the gate, Paulassilverlining and Jose Ortiz allowed longshot Madam Aamoura to move in front of her to set the early fractions. Striding out to a two-length lead, Madam Aamoura sprinted through a quarter in :22.93 and half-mile in :45.42 while Paulassilverlining tracked the pace along the inside rail. Favored Cavorting was stuck between horses about six lengths off the lead.
Rounding the turn for home, Paulassilverlining moved up the outside to blow by Madam Aamoura, immediately stretching out to a three-length lead. Cavorting had to wait for running room while Paulassilverlining continued extending her lead to nearly five lengths, but Cavorting was able to cut that lead back to 3 3/4 lengths as the winner drifted out a bit near the wire. Bar of Gold finished well to be third, and By the Moon was fourth.
“She was great!” said Ortiz. “We broke great and I sat in second outside the six horse [Madam Aamoura] and by the three-eighths pole I decided to see what I had and she responded very well. From the quarter-pole to the three-sixteenths pole she put her head down and exploded. Later by the sixteenth-pole, she ducked out a little bit, but I think it was partially due to me wanting to go a little faster than she could.”
Bred in Kentucky out of a winning daughter of Grindstone, Paulassilverlining improved her career record to five wins from 12 starts, marking her second graded stakes victory. The filly's bankroll now stands at nearly $520,000.
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