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.