Fille d’Esprit Rebounds in What a Summer

January 22, 2023

Fille d’Esprit. (Jerry Dzierwinski/MJC)

David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club

LAUREL, Md. – C J I Phoenix Group and No Guts No Glory Farm’s Fille d’Esprit, beaten as the favorite in her season finale last month, rebounded with an emphatic 5 ¼-length victory in the $100,000 What a Summer, her 7-year-old debut.

It was the second stakes win of the day for trainer Jerry Robb, who captured the $75,000 Geisha for older Maryland-bred/sired females with Award Wanted. Jockey Xavier Perez was aboard.

Swayin to and Fro went off as the 4-5 favorite on the strength of back-to-back stakes wins at Laurel by 10 combined lengths, most recently in the Dec. 30 Willa On the Move, a race where Fille d’Esprit ran fourth. Swayin to and Fro and fellow multiple stakes winner Dontletsweetfoolya raced together up front going a quarter-mile in 22.52 seconds.

Fille d’Esprit, who won the Maryland Million Distaff and Politely in succession prior to the Willa On the Move, moved up to second behind Swayin to and Fro after Dontletsweetfoolya dropped back following a half in 46.45. Fille d’Esprit overtook Swayin to and Fro at the top of the stretch and opened up, covering the distance in 1:11.70.

Swayin to and Fro was second, 1 ½ lengths ahead of 18-1 long shot Snicket, while Fouette edged Dontletsweetfoolya for fourth. Disco Ebo was scratched.

The What a Summer honors the Maryland-bred mare that was named the Eclipse Award-winning sprinter and Maryland’s Horse of the Year in 1977. The Maryland-bred Hall of Famer won 18 of 31 career starts including the Fall Highweight Handicap (G2) and Silver Spoon Handicap twice, Maskette Handicap (G2) and Black-Eyed Susan (G2).

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Jon Bercher @JBercher View testimonials

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