Male rivals proved nothing more than a slight obstacle in the path of Miller Racing, LLC’s filly sprinting sensation Spectacular Sky as the Marty Wolfson-trained daughter of Sky Mesa tallied her third straight open-length victory, and her second successive stakes score, when winning the $55,000 Whippleton Stakes at Calder Casino & Race Course Saturday.
“Very easy,” winning rider Luis Saez said triumphantly after the race. “I like this filly a lot; she’s very nice.”
Spectacular Sky was alert from the gate on Saturday to fill her familiar role as pacesetter, moving strongly on the lead through splits of :22.51, :45.74, and 1:10.85.
After repelling modest challenges from Close It Out and Black Diamond Cat, Spectacular Sky hit mid-stretch with a comfortable three-length lead, and that margin was truly threatened late as the filly crossed the wire a 3 ¼-length winner while running the seven-furlong distance in 1:24.03.
“She broke good, and the plan was to put her on the lead nice and easy and wait for the stretch,” Saez said “And that’s exactly what I did. And then when I came to the straight, I knew that I had a lot of horse, so I asked her, and that was it.”
Sent from the gate as the public’s 3-5 betting favorite, Spectacular Sky returned $3.20, $2.10, and $2.10 for the win. Close It Out paid $2.10 and $2.10 when dead-heating for second with Black Diamond Cat, who brought back $3.60 and $3.40.
With her victory over males in the Whippleton, Spectacular Sky improved her career record to five wins from 16 starts, visiting the winner’s circle three straight times while boasting a three-for-four record since being imported from southern California for the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap in July.
Later in the afternoon, Shivananda Racing’s Ducduc put the brakes on a 10-race losing streak when charging up the rail to win the $55,000 Our Dear Peggy Stakes by a length in 1:53.32. Originally scheduled for turf, the 1 1/8-mile Our Dear Peggy was transferred to a fast main track due to heavy Friday rains in south Florida.
“It was very easy for him and it was very easy for me,” winning rider Fernando Jara said after tracking the early pace from third and then inhaling the early leaders inside the final furlong. “The last sixteenth (of a mile) he found his rhythm, and when I asked him to go he was there for me. I wish every trip went that well.”
Trained by Shivananda Parboo, Ducduc paid $8.60, $4.00, and $3.00 for the win. Tell Tale Friend, who held the lead late but folded in the final yards, returned $3.60 and $3.40 for second, while early pacesetter Oligarch brought back $3.40 when holding on to finish third.