Under a tremendous ride from Flavien Prat, English-bred Simply Breathless saved ground early en route to an impressive 1 ¼ length win in Saturday's Grade III, $100,000 Wilshire Stakes at Santa Anita. Trained by Neil Drysdale, Simply Breathless, who came off an impressive minor stakes win at Golden Gate Fields in her U.S. debut April 27, got a flat mile on grass in 1:35.50.
Unhurried early, Simply Breathless hugged the rail while seventh in a field of 10 sophomore fillies heading into the Club House turn and remained at the fence until the top of the lane, where she wheeled four-deep and put up a stirring rally to win with her ears pricked.
“She's a very talented filly, she was the right horse to beat today,” said Prat, who also rode her to victory in the Golden Poppy Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on turf at Golden Gate. “She traveled well the whole race. We had to be patient around the turn, but once she out clear, she gave us a good kick.
“Since it rained rained here the past few days, it helped make the track softer so it was good for her running on a familiar surface. She probably won't mind going a (longer) distance.”
Off at 5-1, Simply Breathless paid $12.20, $5.40 and $3.80.
Owned by Cloros Bloodstock, Simply Breathless, who was making her first graded or group appearance, improved her overall mark to 15-6-2-4. The winner's share of $60,000, put her earnings at $161,963.
“She's by a horse named Bated Breath, who's becoming a hot sire in England,” said Drysdale. “He had another winner today at Ascot and he's had three over there this week. I think she ran better today than she did up at Golden Gate. She's getting the hang of it…On to Del Mar.”
The second choice at 5-2, Ollie's Candy was second behind pacesetter Ippodamia's Girl turning for home, but proved second best, finishing a neck in front of favored Storm the Hill while paying $4.60 and $3.20.
Off at 5-2 with Rafael Bejarano, Storm the Hill finished a head in front of Ippodamia's Girl and paid $2.80 to show.
Fractions on the race were 23.30, 46.56, 1:10.59 and 1:23.18.
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