Juvenile fillies are not supposed to be able to do it like that.
Stumbling badly out of the gate, Disposablepleasure caused more than one chalk eating weasel to rue their decision to back the favorite in Saturday’s 90th running of the Grade 2, $200,000 Demoiselle Stakes today at Aqueduct. It took a while, but in the end those same people were cashing their tickets after watching a remarkable performance by the heavily favored daughter of Giacomo. As bad a start of the race as it was for Disposablepleasure, there would be more for her to overcome. (Photo courtesy of Maggie Kimmitt)
On her way to her first stakes win, in her first attempt, the Todd Pletcher trained miss also had to overcome an eventful trip a strong late surge from Wildcat’s Smile, and a jockey objection that lasted several minutes.
Stumbling to her nose out of the gate, it was a wonder that rider Ramon Dominguez even stayed on her back. Quickly a dozen lengths behind of early leader, Wee Party, Disposablepleasure waited until the turn to start picking off the many fillies in front of her. Suddenly in contention, the gray two-year-old would need to make her own racing luck from there.
“She stumbled to her nose and got back up, and I was already concerned about her chances from there,” said winning jockey Ramon Dominguez. “She was taking me nicely and they were backing up in front of me, and both [David] Cohen [aboard Bourbonstreetgirl] and I went out to avoid colliding with the fillies in front. Then I had to take a hold, go back inside, and regroup.”
Regroup they did and Disposablepleasure shifted course and then split horses early in the stretch to finally break through to the lead. After all that, it would be easy to see how she would be a bit tired, but she showed even more class by gamely digging in and holding off the resurgent, New York-bred stakes winner, Wildcat’s Smile, to prevail in a very tight photo finish. After winning the photo, she then had to circle outside the winner’s enclosure for several minutes as a claim of foul from the rider of the third-place finisher, Bourbonstreetgirl, against her was considered and eventually disallowed.
The impressive and eventful winner completed the nine furlongs in a rather slow 1:53.10, but considering everything, one should not hold the final time against her. The Demoiselle victory was her second victory in four starts, and her second win in a row after scoring an 11 length maiden romp at Belmont Park on October 6.
“It was a very courageous effort by any horse, but especially a 2-year-old filly,” remarked victorious trainer, Todd Pletcher. “She’s got a lot of natural ability, but she showed she’s got some heart and desire to go along with it. For any horse to win and overcome all that first time going 1 1/8 miles was impressive, but you don’t see too many 2-year-old fillies do that.”
No Todd, you certainly don’t. It was about as big a performance in a nose victory that a juvenile filly can get. It also sets Disposablepleasure apart as one of the top young fillies in the land, and puts her on the short list of the early top contenders for the 2012 Kentucky Oaks.