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BALTIMORE – Spice Is Nice racing for just the second time in nine months edged clear in the stretch to earn her first career stakes win in Friday’s $150,000 Allaire du Pont Distaff Match Series Stakes (G3) at Pimlico Race Course.
After the race winning jockey John Velazquez said “We talked about it with Todd. There didn’t seem like a lot of speed. [Trainer Shug] McGaughey’s filly (#6 Mrs. Danvers) showed a little speed but not on a fast pace. So does the [Trainer Bill] Mott filly (#5 Horologist). The only horse that showed a little speed was the horse inside who had the lead going into the first turn. So we thought we might as well come out of there running and get a position. And if those two horses go, we can sit third or fourth and I ended up having the lead by the time we got to the backstretch. She was doing it comfortably, so I was pleased the way she was doing it. She’s not used to being that close and then on the lead. She was waiting for the competition to come to her. So she kind of fooled with the horse inside of her, but she was waiting.”
“We always liked this filly since she was very young. She’s a big filly. She’s kind of come back better this year. She’s stronger mentally and kind of put it all together.”
Dreamalildreamofu, Getridofwhatailesu, and Horologist completed the order.
Trainer Todd Pletcher said “She’s a filly. We’ve always thought a lot of. I trained her mother. She’s a big strong filly that took a little time to get it all together. After the Alabama last year, she just lost some weight and we needed to regroup and gave her some time off. It seems like it has paid dividends. She’s come back, put on some weight. We had a perfect prep race back and felt like this was good timing and knew she would handle the mile and an eighth.
“When she came by the wire the first time I was very happy. We weren’t exactly sure who all was going to show some speed. Our main focus was just getting her away in good order and getting her into a good rhythm. When she does that she’s very effective.”
This is the first graded stakes win for Spice Is Nice. The 4-year-old daughter of Curlin improved her record to 7-4-1-0 and has now earned $247,028 for owners Robert and Lawana Low.
Spice Is Nice returned $6.60 to win, $4.00 to place, and $3.00 to show.
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