Convinced that Devil’s Cave fell victim to a slow pace and should
have won the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Distaff last time out, trainer
Marty Wolfson’s instructions to jockey Javier Castellano Sunday at
Gulfstream Park were clear: Send her!
The two-time defending Gulfstream riding champ followed Wolfson’s
instructions in the $200,000 Sabin Stakes and Devil’s Cave responded
with a sizzling front-running triumph that broke the track record. While
turning the tables on Sweet N Discreet, who captured the Sunshine
Millions Distaff, Devil’s Cave ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:41, eclipsing the
record of 1:41.17 set by Golden Lad on Feb. 5. “I think the jockey made a huge mistake last time. He told me he did.
She has high speed and to make a horse like her go 1:14-and-2 (for six
furlongs) really discourages her,” said Wolfson, who also saddled
longshots Gamay Noir and Kipling’s Joy for fifth- and sixth-place
finishes, respectively. “She still came back again, that’s why I knew
she was a better horse than Sweet N Discreet.”
After setting dawdling fractions before finishing second to Sweet N
Discreet last time, Devil’s Cave took total control of the Sabin from
the start, setting fractions of :23.52, :46.98 and 1:10.62 and never
letting Sweet N Discreet, who rated in sixth, into the race. The 4-1
fourth-betting choice ran a mile in 1:34.80 with a two-length lead
before drawing off by 3 ½ lengths with Castellano in the irons for the
"I was surprised about (the new track record). She gave me a great
performance today. The way she did it was very comfortable,” said
Castellano, who rode four winners on Sunday’s card. “She was very
relaxed in the first part of the race and I liked the way she finished.
She gave me everything she had today. I was very impressed."
Sweet N Discreet, the 5-2 second choice ridden by Joe Bravo, closed
to finish second, 2 ¼ lengths ahead of Triple Arch, a 27-1 longshot that
stalked the pace during a wide trip under Orlando Bocachica. Favored
Rose to Gold chased the early pace before fading to seventh in the field
of eight fillies and mares.
Prior to finishing 1 ½ lengths behind Sweet N Discreet in the
Sunshine Millions Distaff, Devil’s Cave captured the $100,000 Ocala
Stakes on Dec. 29, running a mile in 1:34 3/5 while besting Sweet N
Discreet by two lengths. Sunday, Devil’s Cave returned to that winning
formula in the Sabind. “She’s got a high cruising speed. I don’t think
Javier knew she was going that fast, but she’s fast,” Wolfson said. “She
ran 1:09-and-change and 1:34 (in the Ocala). I didn’t look like she
was going that fast, but she really does. She’s just a freaky type of
filly for her pedigree.”
The Florida-bred daughter of Put It Back will get a much-deserved
break before Wolfson looks for two-turn stakes opportunities.
“She’s run three times at the meet, so she’ll get a break,” Wolfson
said. “She’ll go a mile-and-an-eighth. She should have one the last one
at a mile-and-an-eighth. They ran 1:50. She’ll run 1:49. I’ll keep her
around two turns or maybe a one-turn mile in New York.”