Terra Di Sienna Stables’ homebred 3-year-old filly Pica Slew confirmed her status as the top sophomore filly sprinter at Calder Casino & Race Course after her impressive two-length victory in the $150,000 Azalea Stakes (G3) at Saturday’s Summit of Speed.
It was the filly’s third consecutive victory at Calder, following her win in the Leave Me Alone Stakes at the Summit Preview here on June 12. Ridden by jockey Manoel Cruz in each of her Calder starts for trainer Joe Calascibetta, Pica Slew ran down the pace-setting Rapport in the Azalea, gaining the lead at the eighth pole in the six-furlong race. She covered the distance in 1:11.12.
Buckleupbuttercup finished second, while Bronx City Girl was 3 ¾ lengths farther back in third. Rapport, who opened up a long lead early in the race, faded to fourth place in the end.
Pica Slew earned $91,140 for the victory. She returned $6.00, $3.00, and $2.80 at the mutuel windows.
Winning trainer quotes:
Joe Calascibetta — “When I looked up and saw twenty-one (:21 seconds for the first quarter) I wasn’t worried about the horse (Rapport) in front not coming back. Cruz was just sitting back, sitting chilly. There’s no way anyone was going wire to wire with those fractions. Her (Pica Slew’s) last race was so easy she didn’t have to do too much. Today she showed another dimension—came from off the pace and learned to pass a horse.
“I’ll discuss it (next start) with the owner (Tom Drier, co-owner of Terra Di Sienna Stable). The Test is a possibility but the instruction from the owners is to take one race at a time, so that’s what we’ll do.”
Winning jockey’s quotes:
Manoel Cruz – “This filly broke very sharp once again today, but I was ready to keep her in hand. When Rapport went to the lead very fast I was a little concerned that she wouldn’t stop, but there was no way I wanted to go with her that fast. ‘Pica’ was impressive last time out and even more so today.”