Sweet Seventeen made a return trip to Aqueduct Racetrack Saturday afternoon and
scored her first stakes victory, turning back a late surge from Off Limits to
win the 33rd running of the $75,000 Busher for 3-year-old fillies.
The even-money favorite, Sweet Seventeen tracked longshot Marvelous
Margaret through an opening quarter-mile in 23.94 seconds, a half in 48.85 and
three-quarters in 1:13.96. Making her bid for the lead as the field of six
turned for home, the Hard Spun filly shook clear of the pacesetter in
midstretch and, switching leads on cue, had enough left to hit the wire a head
in front of Off Limits.
Her winning time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1:46.05.
“[Off Limits] didn’t make it easy in the last part, but my
filly did good and I’m happy with that,” said Alan Garcia, aboard the
H. Graham Motion-trained filly for the first time. “She was settled
[early], but the problem is getting her to switch leads. On the backside she
was a little difficult switching and I wanted to leave her alone and then hope
she could switch leads in the stretch. That was how she got beat last time, but
today she switched the lead and she did it!”
Beaten a neck in last month’s Busanda after belatedly changing
leads, Sweet Seventeen is now 3-2-0 from five starts, having broken her maiden
at Laurel Park in September and taking a first-level allowance at Keeneland the
following month. She closed out her juvenile campaign with a second-place
finish in the Glorious Song at Woodbine.
Sweet Seventeen returned $4.10 for a $2 win bet and earned $45,000 to
extend her earnings to $143,300 for her owner, Mrs. John Oxley.
Off Limits was 4 ½ lengths clear of third-place finisher Better Lucky,
who was followed in turn by Lisa T., Marvelous Margaret, and Plum.
Super Quiet was scratched.