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TORONTO, ON – Godolphin homebred Wild Beauty overcame a rough break and cruised home a stylish victor of Sunday’s $400,000 Natalma Stakes (G1) at Woodbine.
The Natalma is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Wild Beauty receiving an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar this November.
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Wild Beauty, the 7/5 favorite under Frankie Dettori, exited post 5 well enough but was soon sandwiched between Royal Engagement to her inside and Baksheesh on the outside, causing contact that squeezed the European invader back to last early.
Cardio Princess set the pace down the backside, posting opening fractions of :23.35 and :47.03 while leading until nearing the top of the stretch, when the field soon swallowed her up.
Dettori never panicked after the break and allowed Wild Beauty to settle before sending the Charlie Appleby out wide at the top of the stretch, and the hunt was soon on.
Wild Beauty shot to the lead midway home and drew off under a strong hand ride, eventually crossing 2 1/4 lengths clear while completing the one-turn good outer turf mile event in 1:35.08.
“She just backed out of that pocket,” Dettori said of the start. “Then, for my luck, they went way too fast, and by the time we got to the 1/4 pole, it all just fell into my lap and she picked up really well.”
American-based runners Pizza Bianca and Eminent Victor rallied for second and third, with locally-based maiden Mrs. Barbara clocking in fourth.
Diabolic (whose undefeated streak to start her career ended in her fourth appearance), Guileful, Ready Lady, Baksheesh, Royal Engagement, and Cardio Princess completed the order of finish in the field of 2-year-old fillies.
Wild Beauty’s win came in her North American racing debut after she strung together a 5-2-2-0 record racing in her native Great Britain. The daughter of Frankel, second in both prior stakes tries including the 7-furlong Sweet Solera (G3) last time out, has now earned $230,477.
“Look, it was a bit of a worry,” assistant trainer Alex Merriam said about her start. “Seemed to me, when she broke on turns, she stumbled a bit. We’ll have to watch it again and see what Frankie says.”
Wild Beauty returned $4.90 to win, $3.10 to place, and $2.40 to show. Pizza Bianca brought back $4.30 to place and $3.50 to show. Eminent Victor paid $4.20 to show.
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