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Unlimited Budget Clearly Best in Rachel Alexandra

Unlimited Budget with John Velazquez wins the 91st running of the Grade II Demoiselle Stakes for 2-year old fillies, going 1 1/8 mile at Aqueduct Racetrack. Trainer Todd Pletcher. Owner Repole Stables.
Repole Stable’s Unlimited Budget swept to the lead entering the stretch under Rosie Napravnik and drew off to win Saturday’s Grade III, $200,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes by 3 ¾ lengths. Holt Racing LLS, Wesley Hawley and Robert Orth’s Promise Me More closed from last in the field of 10 to get second, four lengths ahead of Susan Knoll’s Blue Violet in the 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies.

 

Unlimited Budget earned 50 points in the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” points standings and now sits atop that list with 60 points overall.

 

The winner sat well off fast early fractions of 22.88, 46.40 and 1:12.32 set by Dancinginthecircle. Into the far turn, Napravnik advanced five-wide and then powered past the rest of the field into the lane.

 

“She was much the best,” Napravnik said after her second graded stakes win of the afternoon. “It ended up being a crazy pace up front so we were a little further back but it set up well for her and she just galloped away with it.”

 

Unlimited Budget stopped the timer in 1:45.38 over a fast main track. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the Florida-bred daughter of Street Sense returned $5, $3.60 and $3 and increased her career earnings to $310,200.

 

Promise Me More paid $11.80 and $6.40 while earning 20 points toward Kentucky Oaks qualifying.

 

“Second-best but coming on late,” Promise Me More’s trainer, Wes Hawley, said. “We will take that today. I don’t think we were going to catch that other filly but a mile-and-one-eighth is a different story.”

 

The 1 1/8-mile Grade II, $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks will be run on Louisiana Derby Day, March 30. Five of the last eight winners of that race have gone on to win the Kentucky Oaks, including last year’s winner, Believe You Can.

 

Blue Violet paid $6.60 and earned 10 points toward the Kentucky Oaks, while fourth-place finisher Every Way got five points.

 

 

 

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