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Awesome Feather Shakes Off Cobwebs in Le Slew

Awesome Feather wins 2011 Le Slew.
Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese
Making her first start since capping her unbeaten, championship 2-year-old season with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies last November, Awesome Feather posted a two-length victory in the $60,000 Le Slew overnight stakes for 3-year-old fillies Wednesday at Belmont Park.


Content to track Flying Train in second behind fractions of 22.60 and 45.30, Awesome Feather was pushed along by jockey Jeffrey Sanchez to engage the leader nearing the quarter pole. After claiming the top spot, Awesome Feather responded to Sanchez’s urging in late stretch to hold off a late bid from Sentimental Lass.


Awesome Feather, who returned $2.50 as the 1-4 favorite, completed seven furlongs in 1:22.76.


The Le Slew was Awesome Feather’s seventh start overall and first for owner Stronach Stables, who transferred the filly to trainer Chad Brown after purchasing her for $2.3 million at auction following the Breeders’ Cup. A bowed tendon discovered in January knocked out the daughter of Awesome of Course for the preponderance of 2011.


“She’s a special horse, she’s got special owners,” said Brown. “The Stronach family, they were presented a difficult situation. I’ll tell you, they handled it with class and optimism. They never complained one day about it. They just told me, ‘Look forward. Don’t look back. Keep the filly.’ She stayed in my care the whole time. She never went to the farm. We did all the therapy and waiting and healing ourselves, and [Mr. Frank Stronach] just said, ‘Let the filly tell you when she’s ready, and if she’s ready. And if she never is ready then eventually we’ll take her home, but you keep her.’ So, through the whole thing they were just patient and optimistic and were never negative about the situation. I think their approach got us here today.”


Brown said he trained Awesome Feather cautiously in the lead up to her 3-year-old debut and that he and the Stronachs will make a decision on the filly’s next start at a later date.


“I was a little worried early because coming off this type of layoff I didn’t want to crank the screws too much in the morning and never get to this day,” said Brown. “So, I felt like I probably had her 75 percent fit, but perfectly sound, and I took that as enough to get her started. When I saw 22, 45 and she’s only a length off it, for a horse off a layoff, that’s a demanding pace to chase and still have finish. I was a little worried down the backside…but she dug in, she has the heart of a champion. It might have not been a stellar group, but she got the job done. I think she’ll be better off for it in the long run, fitness-wise.”


Flying Train held third, followed home by Indian Lilly and Wild About Tiffany.

Photo: NYRA/Adam Coglianese




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Older Comments about Awesome Feather Shakes Off Cobwebs in Le Slew ...

Looked good, but cup would be too much to ask for.
Loves it!!!
Ok, good job on the come back but forget about staying undefeated, lets go to the BC, and see what she,s made of.

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