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Mighty Caroline Needs to Relax in Sorrento

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Precocious is as precocious does.


In her first two races, the 2-year-old filly Mighty Caroline has pleasantly surprised her connections with what she’s been able to do and accomplish. The next step comes Friday when the daughter of Stormy Atlantic faces seven rivals in the Grade III, $150,000 Sorrento Stakes, a stepping stone to the $250,000, Grade I Del Mar Debutante on September 3.


Mighty Caroline made her racing debut on June 12 at Hollywood Park and held on for a nose victory in the 5-furlong, $50,000 maiden special weight event. A month later, Mighty Caroline led from the start to deep stretch before being caught by fellow Sorrento entrant Killer Graces, who prevailed by a half-length in the Landaluce Stakes.


“She’s a very big filly and going into the maiden race it looked like she was going to be more of a two-turn horse,” said Melody Conlon, trainer of Mighty Caroline. “Of our six 2-year-olds, I thought she’d probably be the last to make it to the races. But she never missed a workout and I got all these works into her and she was fit enough she could have run a mile.


“So I thought, she’s ready and we might as well run her in a five furlong race. We were surprised she showed so much speed and won that race.”


Stepping up from a first start to the $100,000 Landaluce, which determines the juvenile filly champion of the Hollywood Park meeting, wasn’t the major decision it might seem.


“With these 2-year-olds, if you have one with ability you might as well go for it (stakes right away),” Conlon said. “The maiden win didn’t seem to take that much out of her.”


Mighty Caroline went :21 4/5, and :45 flat for the first half-mile under Joel Rosario in the Landaluce and opened up a two-length lead before being run down by Killer Graces and Joe Talamo in a race run in 1:11 1/5 for six furlongs. The Sorrento is 110 yards longer. Rosario and  Talamo retain their respective mounts.


“In the Landaluce we wound up on the lead again and dueling with horses in the first part,” Conlon said. “She set such fast fractions that she got nailed at the wire. If we can get her to rate a bit, I think the 6 ½ (furlongs of the Sorrento) will be fine. Eventually, I think she’ll go on in longer races.


“She’s got such a great mind, I think she can eventually be rated and we have hopes for her at distances down the road.”


The Del Mar Debutante is seven furlongs.

 

 

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