Nadette Breakthrough Victory In GIII, Wilshire

April 4, 2024

Nadette. (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

Santa Anita Press Box

ARCADIA, Calif.—Since arriving in the U.S. from France in the fall of 2022, Nadette has been racing exclusively in California turf stakes for Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale. On Thursday at Santa Anita, in her 10th U.S. start, the 5-year-old mare got her first domestic win in the GIII, $100,000 Wilshire Stakes for older fillies and mares at a mile on turf.

With regular rider Hector Berrios in the irons, Nadette rallied from last and ran down favorite Stay and Scam in deep stretch to win by two lengths.  It was another 2 ¾ lengths back to 50-1 longshot Ascendancy in third with Turnerloose (11-1) rounding out the superfecta. For a 10-cent wager, the superfecta returned $137.87.

“It is fabulous to get this win. We have been waiting for this win for a long time, she has been close many times and now she finally got a good trip. We just saved ground and waited for an opening at the rail,” said Berrios.

Entering the Wilshire, Nadette had finished in the top four in five consecutive turf stakes. Most recently on March 3, she finished third by 2 ½ lengths behind well regarded Ruby Nell in the GII Buena Vista going a mile on turf at Santa Anita.  She improved her record to 19: 4-3-2 with $236,634 in earnings.

“Finally,” Drysdale said from the winner’s circle. “She had been knocking on the door. She has the talent but had just been a little unlucky. She runs best when she comes from off the pace, and she’s got a short run. Hector timed it very well.”

Nadette, who was bet down to 3-1 from a 6-1 morning line, won in a final time of 1:34.16. She paid $8.60, $3.80 and $2.80. Stay and Scam, with Mario Gutierrez up, paid $3.20 and $3.00. Ascendancy, ridden by Armando Ayuso, returned $11.80.

Nadette was imported from her native France by owner Team Valor International. According to Team Valor’s Barry Irwin, this was the ownership group’s third stakes win from as many starters worldwide since Saturday. Team Valor on Saturday won both the $5 million Dubai Turf with Facteur Cheval and the listed Cork Stakes in Ireland with Easy.

Fractions for the race were 23.15, 47.23, 1:10.87 and 1:22.62.

Racing resumes Friday at Santa Anita with a nine-race card starting at 1 p.m. PT.

“For a unique and real perspective on horse racing, I read Jonathan Stettin’s column Past the Wire.” Bob Baffert, Multiple Triple Crown winner, Eclipse Award winner, Hall of Fame Champion Trainer

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