Trained by Todd Pletcher, Stopshoppingmaria was easily the most accomplished runner in the field of 12 fillies and mares as the runner-up in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) at Churchill Downs, but had made only two starts this year, most recently finishing fifth as the odds-on choice in a Saratoga turf allowance sprint in early August.
“I didn’t want her to get caught in a speed duel early,” said Velazquez. “I just let her sit right behind the speed (fourth) until the three-sixteenths pole, and she did what she had to do from there when it counted. I told Anthony (Sciametta, assistant to Pletcher) that I think she’s come back better than ever.”
Who’s Hot: The trainer-jockey team of Marcus Vitale and Orlando Bocachica posted a double with Temple Lion ($18.40) scoring in the sixth race and Move Over ($7.40) rallying to capture the eighth.
Work of the Day: Michael Dubb’s 2-year-old filly My Happy Face breezed five furlongs in 1:01 4/5 Friday morning at Gulfstream Park for trainer Rudy Rodriguez as she continues preparation for a new campaign.
The daughter of Tiz Wonderful won two of four starts in New York this year with two seconds, winning the Tempted Stakes (G3) last out at Aqueduct on Nov. 4 after a tough head defeat when second behind Dreaming of Julia in the Frizette Stakes at Belmont Park. Rodriguez has indicated she could make her 3-year-old debut in the $200,000 Forward Gal Stakes (G2) at seven furlongs on Jan. 26.
Rainbow 6 Carryover: $53,497.02