SABIN STAKES | PURSE: $215,000 | 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP | GRADE 3 | 1 1/16-MILES
Alpha Delta Stables' Devil's Cave wired the field in record fashion in Sunday's Grade 2, $215,000 Sabin Stakes at Gulfstream Park en route to a 3 ½-length victory.
"She's got a high cruising speed. I don't think [jockey] Javier [Castellano] knew she was going that fast, but she's fast," Wolfson. "It didn't look like she was going that fast, but she really does. She's just a freaky type of filly for her pedigree."
Devil's Cave went to the front shortly after the start and set fractions of :23 ⅖, :46 ⅘ seconds and 1:10 ⅗. The four-year-old filly pulled away in the stretch under a hand ride, crossing the wire in 1:41.00 for the 1 1/16-mile test over the fast main track. She beat the previous mark of 1:41.17 set by Golden Lad earlier this month.
"I was surprised about [the new track record]," Castellano said. "She gave me a great performance today. The way she did it was very comfortable. She was very relaxed in the first part of the race and I liked the way she finished. She gave me everything she had today. I was very impressed."
The 4-1 fourth choice on the board paid her supporters $10.40 for the win.
Sweet N Discreet was a closing second, 2 ¼ lengths in front of third-place finisher Triple Arch. Angelica Zapata, Gamay Noir, Kipling's Joy, 5-2 favorite Rose to Gold and Private Ensign rounded out the order of finish.
Devil's Cave finished fifth over the dirt in her racing bow and broke her maiden over the Gulfstream Park turf course in her next start to close out her two-year-old campaign. She ran twice more over the grass as a three-year-old against allowance company for trainer Chad Brown. The dark bay switched back over to the dirt when moved to Wolfson's barn, running three times against allowance company.
The daughter of Put It Back captured her stakes debut at this venue in December in the Ocala Stakes against state-breds, besting Sweet N Discreet by two lengths. Sweet N Discreet turned the tables in their next start by taking the Florida Sunshine Millions Distaff last month by 1 ½ lengths. Devil's Cave gained the edge back on Sunday, though, capturing her first graded victory and tallying $135,000 in the process to increase her bankroll to $327,647 from a 10-4-4-0 career line.
"I think the jockey made a huge mistake last time," Wolfson said. "He told me he did. She has high speed and to make a horse like her go 1:14 ⅖ [for six furlongs] really discourages her. She still came back again, that's why I knew she was a better horse than Sweet N Discreet.
"We'll give her a little time. She's run three times at the meet. She'll go a mile-and-an-eighth. She should have one the last one at a mile-and-an-eighth. They ran 1:50. She'll run 1:49. I'll keep her around two turns or maybe a one-turn mile in New York."
Bred in Florida by Circle S Ranch Inc., Devil's Cave is out of the stakes-winning Jungle Express mare Wabash Girl. She is a half-sister to stakes winner Sheza Pretty Gal and her female family includes Grade 2 scorer Heros Reward.
Devil's Cave sold for $180,000 as a two-year-old in training at the OBS April sale.