D’Amato Trainee Headed To $1 Million BC Juvenile Fillies Turf
ARCADIA, Calif.—Ridden with supreme confidence by Umberto Rispoli, Phil D’Amato’s Irish-bred Comanche Country (IRE) remained unbeaten in three one mile turf starts in Southern California as she rallied for a half-length win in Sunday’s Grade III, $200,000 Surfer Girl Stakes at Santa Anita. With today’s mile on turf completed in 1:35.20, it’s on to the Grade I, $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Keeneland on Nov. 4.
As she did in both her maiden win on July 30 and ungraded stakes victory Sept. 10 at Del Mar, Comanche Country rated kindly in the run to the first turn. Mid-pack, about three lengths off early leader Queenzy in a field of eight juvenile fillies at the half mile mark, Rispoli hugged the rail the to the top of the lane tipped out to the three path and Comanche Country responded with a solid stretch rally to run down Sell the Dream late and win going away.
“This filly, she just continues to get better and better,” said D’Amato, who registered his fourth stakes win on day six of Santa Anita’s Autumn Meet. “Umberto rode her with a lot of confidence. He gave her a nice ground-saving ride, he angled out and she wanted to win today. I think this will buy us a ticket to the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile Fillies Turf, Nov. 4) at Keeneland.”
Heavily favored at 4-5, Comanche Country paid $3.60, $2.40 and $2.20.
“I had the spot I wanted, I was on the fence and saved ground. On the backstretch I just used her a little bit to make sure that I could hold my position. Around the turn, I knew the horse was able to carry me to the wire. I was just waiting for the quarter pole to put her in the clear. She did the rest, she carried four pounds over a majority of the others, so it was a big effort,” said Rispoli.
Owned by Little Red Feather Racing, Sterling Stables, LLC and Marsha Naify, Comanche Country, who was winless in two Irish starts, is now three for five overall and with her first graded stakes victory, she picked up $120,000, increasing her earnings to $231,287.
For her part, California-bred Sell the Dream ran too good to lose. A close third at the three-furlong pole, she overtook Queenzy inside the eighth pole, opened up a half-length but couldn’t hold off the winner late, finishing 1 ½ lengths in front of longshot Bolt’s Broad.
Off at 7-2 with Abel Cedillo, Sell the Dream paid $3.20 and $2.80. Off at 43-1 with Drayden Van Dyke, Bolt’s Broad paid $9.20 to show.
Fractions on the race were 22.62, 47.22, 1:11.26 and 1:23.19.
Santa Anita Press Release
Photo by Benoit