The first stakes race of the day at Calder Casino & Race Course played out as bettors anticipated as heavy post-time favorite, Elusive Blueboy, took the Excellent Luck Stakes; bettors didn’t get it quite as right in the following race, as Flutterby surprised with a win in the Cut The Charm Stakes.
$50,000 EXCELLENT LUCK STAKES
Elusive Blueboy took the Excellent Luck Stakes by 2 ¾ lengths with jockey Jose Alvarez aboard. Trained by Ralph Nicks, Elusive Blueboy made his stakes debut with today’s run in the Excellent Luck.
“The horse is a quick horse,” explained Nicks. “He is very talented. At five and a half, he has a couple races under his belt, and that’s not a lot of preparation. I just made sure he felt good and was happy.”
With a good start out of the gate, Elusive Blueboy stayed close behind the leader, Mystical Myles, who broke out to an early lead. Along the turn, Elusive Blueboy made his move toward the rail to battle it out with Mystical Myles and Tapicero, and then edged away in the late stretch to take the win.
“He surprised me today because he never runs behind the speed,” said Alvarez, who now has three starts and two wins aboard Elusive Blueboy. “He runs in the front all the time. I know that he doesn’t care about being behind the speed now.”
Elusive Blueboy returned $2.60, $2.20, and $2.10 for the win. Tapicero paid $6.00 and $4.40 for second, and Mystical Myles returned $3.60 for third.
Completing the order of finish were Lake Drive South, Arangol, Bluegrass Derby, and Black Label.
$50,000 CUT THE CHARM STAKES
After coming fourth in the Cassidy Stakes at Calder in September, Flutterby finds success in nearly wire-to-wire fashion in the Cut The Charm Stakes. This is jockey Luca Panici’s second win aboard the 2-year-old.
“She’s a nice filly. She’s improving,” said Panici. “She needed X-rays after the win in the maiden special weight, and in the last race she was very nervous. Today it was quieter in the beginning. We passed fast but whatever I wanted to do she did.”
Flutterby showed speed early on as she battled it out with Pomeroy Angel, before narrowly leading the way into the turn. She started to kick away from the group at the quarter pole, then opened up at the stretch and took the lead by a length. The post-time favorite, Side Street, stalked the pace for most of the race, but was too late in making her move to close the gap and settled for second.
“She’s a nervous filly,” said winning trainer Jerry Bozzo. “We learned how to teach her to gain her composure. She has tremendous ability. She’s going to be a very versatile filly.”
Flutterby paid $38.60, $13.80, and $8.20 for the win. Side Street returned $5.80 and $3.20 for second, while Bella Traviata brought $4.00 for third.
Rounding out the order of finish were Scripture ‘n Verse, Red Brunette, White Pants Night, Bluesville, City in Sky, Proverbs Thiryone, Joaquina, and Pomeroy Angel.