Filimbi overtook Dayatthespa in deep stretch to take the Fasig-Tipton De La Rose and Big Blue Kitten rallied from far back to win the Lure, a pair of $100,000 turf stakes on the Whitney Day undercard Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.
Making her third start and first in a stakes for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, Filimbi was content to run in midpack as Dayatthespa, the narrow favorite, took the lead with the half going in 46.82 seconds. Taken three-wide on the turn by jockey Joel Rosario, Filimbi started cutting into the front-runner's lead and came on strong through the final furlong to win by 1 ¾ lengths.
Her winning time for the mile over a firm inner turf course was 1:34.42.
"What I was impressed with was, from the eighth pole home, she ran heads up with the good horse at the eighth pole, and now you have to see, did we miss a little training? Did she get a little tired?" said Mott of Filimbi, a French import whose most recent start was an optional claimer on May 21 at Belmont Park. "She just accelerated and put in a real nice run."
The 2-1 second choice, Filimbi - daughter of Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks winner Flute -
returned $6.70 for a $2 win wager, and extended her record to 5-3-2 from 10 career starts.
Pianist checked in third, followed by Baffle Me, Silsita, Joy, Alaura Michele, Ready Signal, and Interesting.
The final race on the 11-race Whitney Day card was the 1 1/16-mile Lure, in which multiple Grade 1 winner Big Blue Kitten was the heavy favorite despite coming off a nine-month layoff. Trailing the field of nine by as many as 13 lengths, the 6-year-old homebred son of Kitten's Joy kicked into high gear once clear inside the quarter pole and went on to prevail by three-quarters of a length over Bio Pro.
His time was 1:41.09.
"What a great horse," said Chad Brown, who trains Big Blue Kitten for Ken and Sarah Ramsey. "I wasn't sure if I had him fit enough off the layoff but it seemed like a good spot to get him started. I told Joe [Bravo] if he won, it'd be terrific, but as long as he finished well we had some big plans for this horse later in the year. Lo and behold, he got through anyway on heart."
The 8-5 favorite, Big Blue Kitten returned $5.40 for a $2 win wager and enhanced his bankroll to $1,235,530.
"He is an old-time horse who knows how to run," said Bravo. "He sat in the pocket and was on the muscle the entire way."
Legendary and the pace-setting Plainview dead-heated for third, followed by Villandry, Paris Vegas, Edge of Reality, Swift Warrior, and Rogue Romance.