FORWARD GAL STAKES | PURSE: $200,000 | 3-YEAR-OLD FILLIES | GRADE 2 | 7 FURLONGS
Glencrest Farm's Onlyforyou was away alertly at the start and took command of the $200,000 Forward Gal Stakes Jan. 25 at Gulfstream Park, going wire-to-wire as the 3-10 pick over five 3-year-old fillies to preserve her undefeated record.
Permitted to go immediately to the lead by jockey Javier Castellano, the bay daughter of Malibu Moon secured a good rail spot and clipped through early fractions of :22.65 and :45.33 while prompted by Aurelia's Belle, the only runner who seemed poised to provide a challenge about half a length back as the field turned for home.
Aurelia's Belle ranged up on the outside coming off the turn while failing to switch leads, but Onlyforyou hit another gear and skipped away down the stretch through three-quarters in 1:09.77. She won by 2 3/4 lengths under a confident hand ride from Castellano, finishing the seven-furlong test on a fast track in 1:22.50.
"I didn't expect her to be on the lead, but she was so sharp today," Castellano said. "She did it so easy and broke on top. The way she did it was impressive. When the other horse (Aurelia's Belle) came to her, she took off again. I like the way she did it today."
Onlyforyou, from the barn of trainer Todd Pletcher, returned $2.60, $2.20, and $2.10 while Aurelia's Belle brought $3.40 and $2.40 at 6-1. Resistivity was third, bringing $2.40, while My Dear Regina nosed out Flash Encounter for fourth. Stately Defence completed the order of finish.
Bred in Kentucky by Elm Tree Farm and Popatop out of the Tactical Cat mare Erhu, Onlyforyou tallied a maiden victory at Aqueduct Racetrack Nov. 10, an allowance score at Gulfstream Dec. 15, and her first graded stakes score in the Forward Gal, all good for earnings of $188,100. She was a $115,000 purchase from the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale on a ticket signed by Phase II Thoroughbreds when consigned by Elm Tree Farm.
"It kind of speaks for itself," Pletcher said. "Any time you have one win three in a row to start their career, it's not very many of them that do that. She's a filly that has always impressed us in her training. She's a beautiful filly, big, scopy, good-looking filly that has tactical speed. It's been a pretty straightforward introduction so far.
"She's trained like she'll run further, and she was able to relax a little bit in her first two starts so she's not one-dimensional even though she won on the lead today. That's pretty much it on the calendar here for sprints, so if we're going to run back at Gulfstream we're going to have to stretch out.
"I guess the Davona Dale is on Feb. 22. We'll have to see how we feel about that."