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Devil May Care Impressive at the Spa

Devil May Care opened up in the stretch to win the 94th running of the Betfair TVG Coaching Club American Oaks Saturday afternoon at Saratoga Race Course for her third career Grade 1 score.


Well-held on the outside by jockey John Velazquez through early fractions of 24.54 and 48.21, Devil May Care advanced turning for home and drew off to cross the wire four lengths in front of Biofuel. Her final time for the 1 1/8th-mile second jewel of the Betfair TVG Triple Tiara was 1:49.42.


“When I let her go, she was there for me,” said Velazquez. “I wanted to have her covered up for a while because she was pulling pretty strong going through the backstretch. Going to the half-mile pole, I wanted her to get into a good rhythm and then a nice cruising speed. At the quarter-pole I took another hold of her because I didn’t want to get into the lead too quickly. But she was just dragging me up to that point. I kept her busy down the lane to keep her mind on her business.”


It was the second consecutive Grade 1 victory for the daughter of Malibu Moon, who captured the Mother Goose at Belmont Park on June 26, her first start since a 10th-place effort against colts in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby on May 1.


“You can see by the way that she won today why we tried the Derby,” said Todd Pletcher, who trains the filly for Glencrest Farm. “The thing that I think gets lost in the shuffle a little bit is how much there is left in the tank. We tried to do the right thing after the Derby and give her plenty of time to the Mother Goose and she rewarded us with a big effort and did the same today. I’ve felt all along that this filly is the best of her generation and if she continues to run like today, I think she’ll prove it.”


Devil May Care earned her first Grade 1 win as a juvenile in the Frizette at Belmont Park. With today’s victory she ran her record to 5-0-0 from seven starts and increased her earnings to $699,000. Sent off as the overwhelming 3-5 favorite in the field of six, she returned $3.40 to her backers in the crowd of 20,352.


The filly also earned 11 points in the Betfair TVG Triple Tiara standings to tie Betfair TVG Acorn winner Champagne d’Oro for first place in the series, which concludes on August 21 with the 130th running of the Betfair TVG Alabama. Pletcher said he would likely target the final jewel for Devil May Care’s next start.


Coaching Club runner-up Biofuel and Acorn runner-up Amen Hallelujah are tied for third in the series with six points each, while Acting Happy and Tanda are tied for fifth with four points each.

Betfair TVG has pledged a $50,000 bonus to a charity designated by the winning owner of any horse who captures all three races in the Triple Tiara. While Champagne d’Oro did not run in the Coaching Club, Betfair TVG has also pledged a $30,000 charitable donation on behalf of the owner of the horse that scores the most points in the series. Betfair TVG will also donate $10,000 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation on behalf of The New York Racing Association, Inc.


Acting Happy finished third in the Coaching Club, Bahama Bound was fourth, and Seeking the Title and Absinthe Minded completed the order of finish. Connie and Michael and Lisa’s Booby Trap were scratched.


The Betfair TVG Coaching Club was previously run at Belmont Park and moved to the just-expanded 40-day Saratoga calendar in 2010.




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