Awesome Feather, last year’s Champion
Two-Year-Old Filly, ran her career unbeaten streak to eight with an easy victory
in the 116th edition of the Grade 1, $250,000 Gazelle, a race for
3-year-old fillies conducted Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese
Making her second start of 2011 in the Gazelle, Awesome Feather raced
off the outside flank of pacesetter Love and Pride through splits of 24.93 and
48.97, and 1:12.41. Awesome Feather drew even with that foe at the quarter
pole, then pulled away when put to a drive to prevail by 5 ¼ lengths. Draw It
rallied to nip Love and Pride by a nose for second.
“She is little, but
she is unbelievable,” said winning jockey Jeffrey Sanchez. “I
didn’t go to the lead, I sat there, took back. At the half-mile pole, I
knew I was going to win the race. I had a lot of confidence in her.”
Off as the 3-2 favorite, Awesome Feather
returned $5.10 for a $2 win wager and completed 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.01. The
$150,000 winner’s share of the Gazelle purse pushed her career earnings
Awesome Feather was purchased at auction
for $2.3 million by owner Stronach Stables and transferred to trainer Chad
Brown following her 6-for-6 juvenile campaign that was capped by a victory in
the 2010 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. A tendon injury delayed
her sophomore debut until October 5 when she captured Belmont Park’s
Le Slew overnight stakes by two lengths.
“She’s got the heart of a
champion,” said Brown. “We just try to stay out of her way in the
morning training her and just try to take care of her, day-to-day. She does the
rest every day. It was a pretty special win.
“She trained so well in the morning,
I’m not surprised [she won the Gazelle like that],” added Brown.
“You just never know going to race speed, with everything she has been
through, what’s going to happen. But with the way she’s training,
it doesn’t surprise me she’s capable of uncorking a run like that.
She’s so sharp and strong in the morning – she’s a super
Awesome Feather, a daughter of Awesome of
Course, is tentatively scheduled to make her next start in the Sunshine
Millions Distaff on January 28 at Gulfstream
Park, Brown said.
“We’ve just been taking it
day-by-day with her,” said Brown. “As long as she’s 100
percent healthy, we’ll probably see her in the Sunshine Millions at
Gulfstream. “That’d be the plan, but we’re going to see how
she is first, but if she’s OK, that’s where I’d go.”
Daring Reality was fourth, followed home by Miss Valentine, R Gypsy
Jewel, and Savvy Supreme. Marion Ravenwood and Purple Cat were scratched.