Dubai Escapade untouchable at Belmont
Darley Stable's Dubai Escapade continued her impressive win streak on Sunday at Belmont Park in the $150,000 Vagrancy Hcp GII under jockey Edgar Prado. The 4-year-old has won her last five races from six starts, including two Grade II victories. She has won all five of her races in similar fashion going gate to wire by a combined margin of 24 1/2 lengths.
The bay filly broke sharply from the outside postposition and immediately assumed the lead, setting sizzling fractions of 22, 44.3, 108.4, and finishing the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.3. She sat comfortably on the lead and was briefly challenged at the quarter pole by Smokey Glacken, a four-time graded stakes winner, but drew off effortlessly and won by six lengths under wraps.
"This filly just exudes class," said trainer Eoin Harty. "Every time she runs, she impresses me more and more."
Harty gives a great deal of credit to assistant trainer Brian Ange who said, "This is the best I've seen her look. She's dappled out and has really put on muscle."
The filly's exercise rider, Karine Lhuillier also garnered praise from Harty who said, "She plays a big part in this filly's career. She tells me when the filly is feeling good and she takes care of her."
The Awesome Again filly was bred in Kentucky by Needham Betz Thoroughbreds & James Blackburn and was purchased at the 2004 Barretts March 2-Year-Old in Training Sale for $2 million. She is out of the Saratoga Six mare Sassy Pants and is a half sister to Madcap Escapade.
Harty said plans for the filly's next race will probably include the $500,000 Princess Rooney GI at Calder Race Course on July 15.
The Maktoum brothers, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum had an especially successful weekend, also winning the $250,000 Woody Stephens Breeders' Cup Stakes GII with Songster, trained by Tom Albertrani, the $1 Million Belmont Stakes with Jazil, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, as well as two Maiden Special Weight races for 3-year-olds with Calla Lily, trained by Albertrani and Bedford Falls, trained by Harty.