My Happy Face,
a tough-luck second in the Grade 1 Frizette on October 6 at Belmont
Park, had a photo finish go her way in the Tempted, dueling from the
inside with Cue the Moon for the entire one-mile distance and getting
her nose down on the wire to prevail by a neck as the odds-on favorite.
Leaving from the inside post, My Happy Face was flanked
by Cue the Moon, who pushed the 1-5 top choice through fractions of
22.48, 44.87, and 1:09.78. Cue the Moon drew on even terms at the head
of the stretch, but My Happy Face battled back along the inside to post
her first graded stakes score.
My Happy Face paid $2.60 and completed one mile in 1:36.32.
“I knew the other filly who finished second [Cue the
Moon] was a very nice filly; she won first time out,” said winning
jockey Ramon Dominguez, who had ridden Cue the Moon in her lone
previous outing. “Our filly was extremely fast out of the gate. She
didn’t get any breather today, but, being on the inside when the other
filly went to press me, I really had no choice. It was a pretty good
battle turning for home. The other filly didn’t give up and neither did
The Frizette had played out in similar fashion, except My
Happy Face came up a head short after trading punches with winner
Dreaming of Julia. Following the Frizette, owner Michael Dubb and
trainer Rudy Rodriguez sending My Happy Face to the Grade 1 Breeders’
Cup Juvenile Fillies on November 2 at Santa Anita before deciding to
leave her in New York for the Tempted.
“She’s very aggressive, very game, and she takes care of
herself,” said Rodriguez. “We’re just going to enjoy this one, and
hopefully she’ll keep improving. We’ll talk to Michael Dubb and see
what he wants to do, but she’s a game filly. We were thinking about
going to California [for the Breeders’ Cup], but I think we did the
right thing by staying here, because they ran very, very big over
My Happy Face, a daughter of Tiz Wonderful who broke her
maiden by 21 ¼ lengths on August 31 at Saratoga, is 2-2-0 in four
career starts and has earned $234,000, including $90,000 for her
Ruby Lips and Unabashed completed the order of finish. Emollient and Kimono were scratched.