The Preakness Stakes (G1) deservedly took the lion’s share of the horse racing headlines since last week. But there was other racing, of course, and a pair of two-year-old fillies with Preakness ties caught my eye with their debut wins.
Tracy Farmer’s PERFECT ALIBI entered the 4th Race at Churchill Downs on Thursday in a five-furlong dash for juvenile fillies. The debuter from the barn of Preakness-winning conditioner Mark Casse was sent postward at odds of 3-1 and that price appeared quite generous following her impressive triumph.
Perfect Alibi drew the five post in the eight-horse contingent for a conditioner who not only saddled the winner on the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown but also does very good work with youngsters. The daughter of Sky Mesa ranged up into contention nearing the five-sixteenths mark and blew past her foes in the lane. The Kentucky-bred finished more than nine lengths clear under the wire beneath Shaun Bridgmohan.
Out of the Maria’s Mon mare No Use Denying, who did her best work going long and on the turf, Perfect Alibi has the breeding to be any kind. She’s certainly eligible to evolve into a really good one.
At Presque Isle Downs on Monday, Stonestreet Stables’ homebred CAMBRIA closed boldly for a debut tally beneath winning Preakness pilot Tyler Gaffalione. Trained by two-year-old wizard Wesley Ward, the Speightstown filly was the 1-2 choice in the six-horse field and visually impressive when driving clear inside the final furlong.
Named presumably for the Cambria Estate Winery, the filly is out of the Grade-2 winning Tapit mare Teen Pauline. In her first outing in 2012, Teen Pauline set a five-furlong track record at Saratoga that still stands today. The apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree.
What makes this particular duo so intriguing to me is that both were produced from mares that excelled going longer distances. Each of the juvenile fillies will step up to face stakes foes in their subsequent races, presumably, and I am hopeful their paths will cross in a race later this season.