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ELMONT, NY – Robert and Lawana Low’s Classy Edition backed up a decisive maiden triumph when moving to stakes company, besting a field of five other New York-bred juvenile fillies in Friday’s 28th running of the $150,000 Joseph A. Gimma going 7 furlongs over the Belmont Park main track.
Trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, Classy Edition was a 6 3/4-length debut winner on September 5 going 5 1/2 furlongs over the Saratoga main track. Off less than 3 weeks’ rest, the daughter of freshman stallion and 2016 Champion 2-Year-Old Classic Empire won her stakes debut by an even wider margin of victory, besting her Empire State-bred counterparts by 8 lengths.
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Breaking from post 4 under returning pilot Irad Ortiz Jr., Classy Edition was a touch slow away from the gate as Adversity laid down fractions of 22.57 seconds for the opening 1/4-mile and a 1/2-mile in 46.05 over the good and harrowed main track.
Shesawildjoker and Seeking the Ante winner November Rein kept close company outside Adversity while Classy Edition tracked 2 lengths off the pace in fifth.
Around the far turn, Ortiz Jr. weaved Classy Edition into the four-path in pursuit, inching his way to even terms with the top trio nearing the 1/4-pole.
Classy Edition established control in upper stretch and drew away under Ortiz Jr.’s left-handed encouragement and was wrapped up in the last 1/16 of a mile, clocking 1:24.42 for the 7 furlongs.
Stonestreet Stables’ Velvet Sister, who was in traffic trouble around the far turn, ran on late for second, 6 lengths to the better of Joseph Bucci’s Shesawildjoker, who completed the trifecta.
Adversity, November Rein, and Our Tiny Dancer rounded out the order of finish.
Ortiz Jr. and Pletcher both commented on her improvement in taking kickback from her first start to the Gimma.
“She got the kickback the first time and she acted like she didn’t like it. Today, she handled it much better,” Ortiz Jr, said. “By the 3/8-pole, it was time to go and I feel like I had some horse, so I let her start doing her thing. She was moving great. By the 1/4 pole, I asked and she took off.”
In victory, Pletcher moved into first place in the Belmont fall meet trainer standings with 5 wins.
“First time, she backed up out of the dirt a little bit like most first-time starters will do,” Pletcher said. “She settled into it a little better here. (Ortiz Jr.) ultimately had no other option but to go out four or five-wide. It looked like she finished with good energy.”
Pletcher expressed some concern about coming back so quickly for her second start.
“That was my biggest concern, but if you watch her debut, Irad pretty much galloped her in the last 1/16,” Pletcher said. “I think it paid off today that she didn’t have a gut-stretching debut.”
Pletcher said the $250,000 Maid of the Mist on October 30 at Belmont would be “a nice progression” for his filly and is considering the one-turn mile event for her next start.
Classy Edition returned $4.70 for a $2 win bet as the post-time favorite and banked $82,500 in victory, over doubling her lifetime earnings to $129,250. She is unbeaten in 2 starts.
Classy Edition provided Classic Empire with his second black type stakes winner, one month after First Empire captured Woodbine’s Soaring Free on August 21.
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