Born Dapper Goes Easy off Turf for Selima Victory

October 1, 2022

2YO Homebred Filly Professional Winner of Stakes Debut

LAUREL, Md. – Augustin Stable homebred filly Born Dapper, already having shown an affinity for turf and synthetic surfaces, had no trouble adjusting to the dirt in her stakes debut in powering home a 3 ¼-length winner in Saturday’s $150,000 Selima at Laurel Park.

The 93rd running of the Selima for 2-year-old fillies was the third of five stakes worth $575,000 in purses on opening weekend of the calendar year-ending fall meet, serving as co-headliner with the $150,000 Laurel Futurity for 2-year-olds. Both races were rained off the grass and contested at one mile on the main track.

Born Dapper ($8.20) was one of two horses owned by George Strawbridge of Augustin and trained by Jonathan Thomas along with Delight, the 3-1 program favorite that was scratched with the change of surfaced.

“We were forecasting the weather,” Thomas said. “The thought process was that if it rained like this we’d leave [Born Dapper] in and scratch the other filly and probably vice versa if it had stayed on. I wanted to see the complexion of the race and go from there.

“We were thrilled. The filly’s been training super,” he added. “I had a feeling being Union Rags over a Pulpit mare she’d probably handle the slop and the dirt and the distance and all that, so it was great.”

Born Dapper settled in third along the inside as Anotherdaygoneby was intent on the lead and held it through fractions of 25.03 and 49.62 seconds, chased by Majesty’s Freedom. Toledo tipped Born Dapper to the two-path rounding the far turn for clear run, and they hit the top of the stretch in command before pulling away to win in 1:42.19 over the sloppy and sealed surface.

“Jonathan is very good, he never really gives much instructions. He just said to let her break, let her put herself in a comfortable spot and make a run when you’re ready,” Toledo said. “So, I let her break on her own and she break good. I see someone that wanted to go so I let them go and sat right behind them. She relaxed beautiful, and before the quarter pole I just put her in the clear and she took right off.”

Pacesetting Anotherdaygoneby held second by 2 ¾ lengths over Lady Azteca, with another 1 ½ lengths back to Bee Mountain in fourth. The Classy One, 6-5 favorite What an Honor, Cha Cha Tap and Majesty’s Freedom completed the order of finish. Lifelovenlaughter and Private Credit were also scratched.

“Jevian is such a great rider. He saved ground where he could [and] bided his time,” Thomas said. “He came into the lane with a lot of confidence, and you could see the filly kind of soak that up, too. It all went better than expected.”

Born Dapper debuted running second in a five-furlong maiden special weight sprint May 28 over the all-weather surface at Woodbine before finishing third in a six-furlong turf sprint there July 2. She graduated in her prior start, a one-mile maiden special weight over the Monmouth Park turf Aug. 13.

“What we’ll do is get her down to Keeneland after this and breeze her on the dirt a few times and let her tell us. I’ve run her on the Tapeta, on the grass and on this and she’s shown up every time we’ve run her,” Thomas said. “She’s earned her way to trying something, kind of that next step.”

First run in 1926, the Selima is named for the great English race mare who was imported to the U.S. in the 1750s by Benjamin Tasker Jr., manager of the famed Belair Farm in Prince George’s County. The daughter of the Godolphin Arabian considered ‘Queen of the Turf,’ also gained fame as a broodmare.

David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club
Photo by Jim McCue/MJC

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