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When the gates open for the $500,000 TAA Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf Invitational (G2) Saturday afternoon, Fluffy Socks will add two new data points to her career stats: first start at Gulfstream Park and first start in the opening quarter of the calendar year.
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Since making her debut for trainer Chad Brown in the summer of 2020, Fluffy Socks has been rested in the winter and sent back into competition in April or May. That schedule has worked very well for the now 6-year-old mare. She has finished in the top three of 17 of her 22 races, won three graded-stakes and earned purses of $1,152,580 while competing at 10 tracks in five states.
This year, Brown and Head of Plains Partners are trying her in the Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf. In addition to the biggest chunk of the purse, the winner will earn an automatic entry in the Qatar Nassau Stakes (G1) at England’s Goodwood Racecourse in late July and a $25,000 stipend for travel.
In her most recent start, Fluffy Socks, a daughter of Slumber out of Breakfast Time, was second by a head to stablemate Surge Capacity in the Matriarch (G1) Dec. 3 at Del Mar.
“It was a big effort last time. She was really unlucky to lose,” Brown said. “My other horse, Search Capacity, got through and had the rail run. Fluffy Socks had a little bit of a wide run and ran a big, fast number. She’s come out of it well. We thought we’d just go on with it here and keep her going.”
Fluffy Socks drew Post 7 and is the 9-2 second choice on the morning line for her Florida debut. She is leading earner in the full field of 12.
She has worked five times since the Matriarch, including a bullet breeze of 48.40 seconds for a half-mile on dirt at Payson Park Jan. 13. Regular rider Irad Ortiz Jr. has the mount.
“She takes good care of herself, this horse,” Brown said. “We’ve given her little breaks along the way. We haven’t overrun her and such. We’ve tried to manage her for longevity like a lot of horses in that division. She’s just a quality horse.”
Brown, winner of the Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf in 2022 with Regal Glory, will also saddle Chili Flag, who drew Post 2 and is 20-1 on the morning line.
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