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Breeders' Cup 2017

Sweet N Discreet, Devil's Cave Meet Again

Devil's Cave 615 X 400 Ocala
Photo: Coglianese Photos/Leslie Martin
Sweet N Discreet ventured into unknown territory for her last start when asked to stretch her obvious speed around two turns for the first time at 1 1/8 miles – a rather imposing distance for a horse with one-turn breeding.           

The 4-year-old daughter of Discreet Cat, who finished second after setting the pace in the one-mile Ocala Stakes on Dec. 29, performed beyond the expectations of even her trainer when she rated off the pace and closed with energy to capture the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Distaff by 1 ½ lengths.

“She surprised us a bit to run as well as she did,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “As well as she ran at a mile, I wasn’t so sure about a mile and an eighth, but it seemed like a good place to test it out.”

Sweet N Discreet has blossomed since arriving at Gulfstream last fall, winning back-to-back six-furlong allowance races before finishing second behind Devil’s Cave in her stakes debut in the Ocala.              

“We liked her a lot at 2. Then, she got some shins and it’s taken a little while for her to get it all together,” Pletcher said. “She’s good right now.”           

The E.P. Robsham Stables homebred filly was one of two Pletcher-trained fillies entered Thursday for Sunday’s $200,000 Sabin Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream. The 10-time defending training champion also entered Private Ensign, a 4-year-old daughter of A.P. Indy who captured an allowance at Gulfstream on Jan. 15 off an eight-month layoff. The Siena Farms homebred filly won twice and finished third in the Davona Dale (G2) at Gulfstream last year when trained by Dale Romans.           

“She won her comeback race, and the mile and a sixteenth should suit her well. She’s a beautiful filly and well bred,” said Pletcher, who awarded the return mount aboard Sweet N Discreet to Joe Bravo “We were really pleased with her first race for us. Hopefully she can repeat that type of effort.”           

Sweet N Discreet should be well-suited to the cutback to 1 1/16 miles of the Sabin, said Pletcher, when she takes on Devil’s Cave for the third-straight race.     

Devil’s Cave has been no worse than second in four starts since being switched from turf racing to dirt. In the Ocala, the 4-year-old daughter of Put It Back pressed a very fast pace before drawing off to a two-length decision over Sweet N Discreet going a one-turn mile. In the Sunshine Millions Distaff, she set a slow early pace before being caught by Sweet in Discreet in the upper stretch. She came back in deep stretch but fell more than a length short of victory. “She should have beaten her going a mile and an eighth,” trainer Marty Wolfson said. “The jockey took way too much a hold. She should have been in front by four or five (lengths) – 1:14-and-1 (for six furlongs) and he’s taking back on her. She should have been very clear. He was apologetic.”             

The free-running Devil’s Cave, who is owned by the Alpha Delta Stable, is scheduled to be one of three horses saddled by Wolfson, who also entered Gamay Noir and supplemental entry Kipling’s Joy.           

Gamay Noir was claimed by Chasing Tail Stables for $100,000 out of a turf race at Gulfstream on Jan. 14 and finished third in a dirt allowance in her first start for Wolfson.          

“She likes dirt. She’s run well on turf, but she had a couple of good races on dirt at Churchill,” Wolfson said. “She ran a good third here on dirt.”           

Kipling’s Joy made her first start since being purchased by Miller Racing a winning one, winning an optional claiming allowance over the Gulfstream turf course on Jan. 25.             

“She trains really good on dirt, so I’m going to run her too,” Wolfson said. “We bought her out of the Fair Grounds and I ran her a couple of weeks ago on turf, but I think she’s better on dirt.”           

Rose to Gold, a multiple graded-stakes winner trained by Sal Santoro, was also supplemented for the Sabin by owners Kathleen Amaya and Raffaele Centofanti. The 4-year-old filly, who made her 2014 debut on turf in the Marshua’s River (G3) at Gulfstream, returned to winning form last time out, winning the $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic Stakes at Sam Huston on Jan. 25.           

The daughter of Friends Lake won the Honeybee (G3) and Fantasy (G3) at Oaklawn, as well as the Delta Downs Princess Stakes (G3), last season.          

Angelica Zappata, a multiple stakes winner on both turf and dirt, returns to the main track for trainer Ron Pellegrini after finishing third in the Marshua’s River on turf.           

Triple Arch, who finished second ahead of Gamay Noir in a dirt allowance last time out, rounds out the eight-horse Sabin field. Trainer Marcus Vitali and jockey Orlando Bocachica each tasted Grade 1 success for the first time in their careers when they teamed for Lochte’s upset triumph in last weekend’s $300,000 Gulfstream Park.




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all in with Angelica Zapata

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