Could Pretty N Cool be the second best 2yo Filly?

November 15, 2015 01:03pm
Pretty N Cool wins 2015 Matron.
Photo: Joe Labozzetta/NYRA

Songbird is the best juvenile filly in the land. You know it, I know it, even the guy selling hot dogs down the street knows it, but what about next best? Rachel’s Valentina is a popular choice in more ways than one, but I am feeling a little plucky tonight, so I am just going to throw this out there -- what about Pretty N Cool? I know she’s never been farther than seven furlongs, and she didn’t even run in the Breeders’ Cup, but taking a look at her accomplishments -- two graded stakes wins, and a 4-3-1-0 record, with her only loss coming at the hooves of Songbird, does it really seem all that wacky to think that she might be something very good? I don’t think so, and we’ll all get to learn a little more when the gray daughter of Scat Daddy takes to the track for Sunday’s feature at Del Mar, the $100,000 Desi Arnaz Stakes at seven furlongs.

Trained by the man with the Grand Slam, Bob Baffert, Pretty N Cool (Scat Daddy -- Stayclassysandiego, by Rockport Harbor) came out running at first call. Bet down to even money for a five furlong maiden race in mid-July at Del Mar, she dealt with a little early argument for her domination, but that did not last long. She easily proved the best on a rare sloppy track at the seaside oval, coasting home a 4 ½ length winner in :57.80. Impressed with what they saw, the Watson, Pegram, and Weitman owned filly returned 24 days later to be hammered down as the 2-5 favorite in the Sorrento Stakes.

The bettors knew where the money belonged, and the gray filly scooted away and had no trouble adding the Grade 2 affair to her then perfect young career. Looking back, the easy win looks even better now, knowing that the filly who was second best in the 6 ½ furlong race, Gomo, came back to win the Grade 1 Alcibiades two starts later. It certainly was an excellent start to the career of Pretty N Cool, but those two strong performances were not enough to make her the public’s choice in career start number three.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it, she was taken to school by Songbird on September 5. However, giving the soon to be champion a real test for the first five-plus furlongs of the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante, before succumbing in the stretch, is more than most can say. A fact that became all too clear when Songbird won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies for fun. Pretty N Cool has bounced back from that defeat well, though, and in fact, did so on the other side of the country.

Honestly, her win in the Grade 2 Matron Stakes at Belmont Park last month was not the easiest victory in the world, but I came away impressed. She was pressured on both sides through fast fractions, and in the end, she successfully edged away from a talented filly in Constellation. Now it is back to her home track on Sunday, with her regular pilot, Martin Garcia, again in the saddle.

While a fourth win in five starts in a Desi Arnaz field, which includes her stablemate, Treasuring (Victor Espinoza), Surfside Tiara (Rafael Bejarano), Street Fancy (Mike Smith), Lucky Folie (Gary Stevens), Patriotic Diamond (Santiago Gonzalez) and I’mflatoutsweet (James Graham), will not prove her to be the second best filly in the land, it will continue to demonstrate that this filly is one of high class.

Can Pretty N Cool successfully go two-turns? Will she get another shot at Songbird? Is she a legitimate 2016 Kentucky Oaks contender? All those questions will have to wait a bit. For now, we should all enjoy a top notch juvenile filly doing her thing on Sunday. As for the future, we will see, but I remember another fast young filly on the West Coast a few years ago, who people doubted for her ability to get a distance. Her name is Beholder.


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Meet Brian Zipse

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, American Pharoah and Justify. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. His new racing partnership venture, Derby Day Racing, invites more fans to experience the thrill of racehorse ownership.

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, created the popular racing show, HorseCenter and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as hosting HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.

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