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Breeders Cup 2015

Georgie's Angel Doesn't Disappoint at the Spa

Georgie's Angel, a filly owned by a Red Sox fan and named after George Steinbrenner, swept to the lead in midstretch and went on to win Friday's Grade 3, $100,000 Schuylerville, the second of two stakes on opening day at Saratoga Race Course.

A daughter of Bellamy Road - who was campaigned by the late owner of the New York Yankees - Georgie's Angel broke alertly from the outside and quickly settled in off Vukovar and Gypsy Robin as they led the field of six 2-year-old fillies through an opening half-mile in 44.71. Accelerating on the turn when asked by jockey John Velazquez, Georgie's Angel took command in midstretch and went on to a 1 ½-length victory, her second in as many starts.

Her time for the six furlongs was 1:10.68.

"The race set up kind of like we thought it might on paper, and she ran a very professional race," said Todd Pletcher, who trains Georgie's Angel for Ronnie Sheffer, an attorney from Louisville, Ky., Ronald Stocks and Betsy Wells. "She broke well, but we anticipated a bit of speed inside us, and the best thing is, when you have an outside post like that, it gives you some options. Johnny rode a perfect race."

Georgie's Angel, the first horse Sheffer has owned, earned $60,000 for the victory and returned $3.90 as the 4-5 favorite to her fans in the opening-day crowd of 25,155.

"Because she was by Bellamy Road, who was Steinbrenner's favorite horse, Kelly Wietsma [President/CEO of Equisponse] said I oughta name him Georgie's Baby," said Sheffer. "My wife is an ordained minister, and her father used to call her 'Angel' all the time, so we named her Georgie's Angel as sort of a compromise.

"I'm the world's biggest Red Sox fan, too, an no one would ever have believed I would name a horse after George Steinbrenner," he added.

True Feelings was second, 5 ¾ lengths ahead of Force de la Nature, who was followed in turn by Gypsy Robin, Alydarla, and Vukovar.

Pletcher said the next start for Georgie's Angel would likely be the Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga on Sunday, September 4.

"We'll see how she bounces out of it, but it's good spacing," he said. "Now we have a little extra time."



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