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The John Ortiz-trained Brightwork won the 2023 Debutante Stakes at Ellis Park in gate-to-wire fashion, with the heavy favorite V V’s Dream a close 2nd. Who is currently the best 2-year-old filly in America? Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!
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WSS Racing’s Brightwork remained undefeated after taking the field of 2-year-old fillies wire-to-wire in Sunday’s 122nd running of the $225,000 Debutante at Ellis Park Racing & Gaming.
Brightwork is trained by John Ortiz and was ridden to victory by Luis Saez. The precocious daughter of Outwork completed six furlongs in 1:09.79.
Saez hustled Brightwork out of the starting gate and she quickly took command of the Debutante Stakes. A few jumps after the break, Brightwork was joined to her outside by City Ghost. They completed an opening quarter-mile fraction :22.58. Around the far turn, Brightwork continued to stay strong on the lead while City Ghost began to fade. However, she had to fend off a three-wide bid from heavy favorite V V’s Dream. Brightwork was able to keep V V’s Dream in deep stretch and score a half-length victory.
Brightwork is now a perfect 2-for-2 and Ortiz stated following the race she could either stay here at Ellis Park or travel north to Saratoga.
“Right now we’re going to continue with the program for this year,” Ortiz said. “We mapped out her races and could either stay here at Ellis Park or go to Saratoga. … The last two months we prepared her for today. She showed her skills today. I was surprised when she won on debut because I wasn’t sure how ready she was to run. Today, she was really ready to go.”
“We had a perfect position on the lead,” Saez said. “She put herself into the race and John (Ortiz) and his team had her ready to go. I think she’s shown a lot of talent in just two starts.”
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