Austere Stays Perfect With Juvenile Fillies Victory At Kentucky Downs, Possible For Breeders' Cup - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Austere Stays Perfect With Juvenile Fillies Victory At Kentucky Downs, Possible For Breeders’ Cup

Tyler Gaffalione pilots Mendelssohn filly Austere to victory in the Global Tote Juvenile Fillies

By Mike Kane

In their first time together, Austere and jockey Tyler Gaffalione turned out to be ideally matched Sunday as they won the $500,000 Global Tote Juvenile Fillies Stakes by three lengths at Kentucky Downs.

Gaffalione gave the daughter of Mendelssohn a clever ride, guiding her toward the inside into a stalking position in third, a couple of lengths behind Bella Haze and favorite Cynane. The pace was sharp :22.51 for the first quarter mile and :45.88 for the half-mile.

When Gaffalione asked, Austere moved closer to the leaders as they were passing the half-mile pole. By the top of the stretch, Gaffalione had decided to go to the outside and she quickly passed Cynane and then Bella Haze to take control.

Running alone in the stretch, Austere reached the wire in the one-mile race in 1:35.48, much faster than the final time of 1:38.17 in the Juvenile Mile one race earlier. Bella Haze continued on to finish second, a neck in front of Latte Lizzie, who edged Kodiac Wintergreen by a head.

Austere, the third choice in the field of eight, paid $10.40 to win.

Trainer Brendan Walsh said he was expecting a big performance for the filly co-owned by Bradley Thoroughbreds, Gary Finder, Tucci Stables, Cambron Equine LLC, and Belmar Racing and Breeding.

“It was not a surprise at all,” Walsh said by phone. “She'd been working great. We think she has lots of talent. It was great to go there and win. It looks like she's going to be a nice filly going forward.”

Walsh said with the Kentucky Downs win Austere might be considered for the Breeder' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) Nov. 3 at Santa Anita.

“You'd have to after today,” he said. “She's 2 for 2 now. We'll see how she comes out of it and go from there. But she's done nothing wrong so far.”

Gaffalione said that Austere did everything right for him.

“I took her off the pony and she warmed up great,” he said. “She stood perfect in the gate, got a great start and we were able to establish good position.”

After she started smartly from post 6, Gaffalione had options and decided to take a ground-saving route behind the leaders.

“Everybody was wanting to stay off the rail yesterday, especially,” he said, “but it dried out quite a bit today and there's actually a real slim path down on the fence that hasn't really been used up. It's pretty good footing in there.”

Gaffalione said Austere felt good under him the whole trip.

“I was very confident,” he said. “She put me in a great spot. She traveled well within herself and showed a really nice turn of foot today.”

Austere was bred in Kentucky by Jane Lyon's Summer Wind Farm. Produced by the British-bred Observatory mare Argumentative, she sold to Bradley Thoroughbreds for $150,000 at the 2022 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, where Lane's End consigned her.

On August 5, Bella Haze provided trainer Carlos Santamaria with his first win as a trainer after working as an assistant for many years in California. She produced another big performance for him under Joel Rosario in her first try in stakes company.

“She just broke her maiden a few of weeks ago at Ellis Park (on dirt),” he said. “But we know she's got a little bit of pedigree for the grass, so we decided to come here. She ran a huge race. We're just grateful to Joel the way he rode her. We're going to see how she looks in the next few days and make another plan for her. But we're super happy with her.”

Kodiac Wintergreen was the second choice in the wagering at 5-2. The daughter of Kodiac is owned by Houston Astros star third baseman Alex Bregman and came into the race off an impressive maiden victory at Saratoga. She was not able to replicate her late run at Saratoga under regular rider Jose Ortiz.

“First time in a stake. First time at a mile,” said trainer Rusty Arnold. “We're a little disappointed. (Ortiz ) said that she never quit running, she kept kicking on and the winner was really good. What did we get beat? A head, a neck for second? So it wasn't a horrible race, but we're a little disappointed. We thought we were going to run a little bit better, but back to the drawing board and get ready for the next one.”

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