Farrell with jockey Channing Hill aboard wins the 37th running of the Grade II Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds.
Bob Cummings and Annette Bacola’s Coffeepot Stables homebred filly Farrell was able to turn back the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies runner-up Valadorna in Saturday’s G2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes, drawing away to win by 3 1/2 lengths. The 3-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon won her third race in a row for trainer Wayne Catalano, earning herself 50 points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks. Ridden by Channing Hill, Farrell covered 1 1/16 miles over the fast main track at Fair Grounds in 1:44.09.
“She’s really versatile, so I just let her have her way,” Hill said. “She did everything so well and settled really well on the backside, doing it all on her own. Down the lane I got after her a little bit and she went on with it and did it professionally. This filly is the real deal.”
Farrell broke sharply and immediately took the lead for Hill, but was a bit rank around the first turn to draw away to a four-length lead. After a first quarter mile in 23.92 seconds, Hill was finally able to get the filly to relax while maintaining her speed to mark the half-mile in :47.32. Farrell did ease up in the next quarter, covering it in 24.90 seconds, though the move allowed her rivals to come within striking range.
Untapped and Shane’s Girlfriend had been tracking Farrell all the way around the backstretch, with Valadorna out wide in fourth alongside the maiden Majestic Quality. When Farrell eased up her pace nearing the three-eighths pole, Valadorna and Majestic Quality both jumped at the chance, making their moves to challenge the leader.
At the top of the stretch, Farrell held a neck’s advantage over Valadorna, and the latter filly was coming on strong. Farrell was able to find another gear, rallying back along the rail to turn back Valadorna. Despite a few green moments in the late stretch during which she lost focus, Farrell pulled away convincingly to win by 3 1/2 lengths. A tiring Valadorna was nosed out for second by the maiden Majestic Quality. Wicked Lick was fourth.
“The way she’s running she should be one of the top choices (in the Kentucky Oaks), but there are a few more races to go,” Catalano added. “She was moving pretty good and I was happy when (Hill) said that she settled for him on the backside. Speed is always dangerous and pace makes the races and today was our race.”
Bred in Kentucky, Farrell is out of a graded stakes-placed daughter of the late Unbridled’s Song. The filly now has three wins in a row, beginning with the G2 Golden Rod at Churchill Downs last fall. Overall she boasts four wins from six starts, with earnings of $ 360,000.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2017 Paulick Report.