ENDEAVOUR STAKES | PURSE: $150,000 | 4-YEAR-OLDS & UP | FILLIES AND MARES | GRADE 3 | 1 1/16-MILES (TURF)
Stud TNT's Old Tune was making her U.S. debut in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Endeavour at Tampa Bay Downs and not only scored but did so in a stakes-record time of 1:39.30.
Old Tune headed straight to the front under jockey Joel Rosario when the gates opened, but found plenty of company in the form of Awesome Belle to her outside. Those two dueled through splits of :23, :46 2/5 and 1:10 while closely tracked by Exclusive Love, Appealing Cat and Hooh Why running in tandem just in behind.
Old Tune briefly backed up on the backstretch, but gained her second wind and re-rallied to the inside of Awesome Belle. The Brazilian-bred daughter of Wild Event had command entering the lane, and never relinquished her hold on the top spot despite a cavalry charge from the rest of the field.
Sent off the 3-1 second choice in the 12-horse field, Old Tune paid $8.20, $5.20 and $5.20 for finishing up the 1 1/16-mile, firm turf test in 1:39.30.
Appealing Cat was 1 3/4 lengths back in second as part of a four-horse photo behind the winner. Last Full Measure, one of two also-eligible runners who drew in following a pair of scratches, grabbed third another neck back while Hooh Why completed the top four a farther neck behind.
Blue Heart finished out the photo another neck back of Hooh Why while Sweet Little Lion, Exclusive Love, My Redbyrd, dead-heaters Awesome Belle and Dealbata, also-eligible Font and Callmethesqueeze completed the order under the wire. Alaura Michele and Pianist were both withdrawn.
Old Tune made 12 starts in her native Brazil, capturing four Group 1s along the way. She was unbeaten in four races last year, with her last three occurring against Group 1 competition, and also took a Group 3 to open 2012. Now trained by Todd Pletcher, her career mark stands at 7-1-2 from 13 races and the five-year-old mare has banked $388,180 in lifetime earnings.
Bred by Haras Internacional, Old Tune is out of the Irish Fighter mare Chanson Pour Julia, who is a half-sister to Group 1 winner American Night.