May 11, 2015
The Grade I Vanity Stakes was expected to be a showdown between former CCA Oaks winner Devil Wears Prada and former Alabama winner Chili King but someone forgot to tell Grade II turf winner Years Go Bye and the four-year-old filly stormed home to upset both of the favourites in her first start on the dirt in over a year. From one of the later crops that Ironbound produced, and the last foal of Years Begone, she was moved to the grass and proved successful with multiple stakes wins but was finally able to claim her first Grade I here with a career-best 99-speed rating while pushing her earnings closer to $750.000, with plenty of races left on her dance card this season.
Inside speed came through in the opening stages of the Vanity as Chili King (2.05) took a brief lead into the first turn with Years Go Bye (14.05) and Ryder (5.75) holding their own along the rail but positions remained in flux early as the leader failed to get down to a clear lead. Devil Wears Prada (*0.95) tucked into a good spot along the rail as Ryder dropped off the early fractions but the real stickler was Years Go Bye, who refused to give Chili King any sort of break from her inside stall. Those three separated themselves passed a half-mile in 48.87, modest for this class, with the advantage still to Chili King, who had a one-length lead with half the race complete and her two rivals sitting chilly at the fence. Everyone sat patiently through six-furlongs in 1:12.49 but things started to heat up as Years Go Bye angled outside of Chili King and that forced the hand of the favourite, who had to decide whether to sneak up the rail or make a wide sweeping rally. At the head of the lane, Chili King finally got down to the race and was all out to hold off her challengers and while Devil Wears Prada found a seam between rivals, it was Years Go Bye who used all of that stubborn experience rallying on the turf to get up in the last strides for a nose victory. Chili King held extremely well along the rail to finish second, a length in front of Devil Wears Prada, while Ryder failed to menace in fourth while beating home Vegas Gal (6.25) who showed very little from start to finish.
It has been more than a year since a debacle in the Grade I KY Oaks moved Years Go Bye to the grass but despite two stakes wins and a fourth in the BC F&M Turf, she was given no real shot of winning the Grade I Vanity yet found a way to upset her two more seasoned dirt veterans at the end of nine-furlongs. While this might have been a product of a smaller field and a reachable pace, she can still count herself as a top-class mare right now and races like the Adoration over the same course, over even a trio of events over BEL Stakes weekend, could be on the cards for this gutsy filly.
Congratulations goes out to owner D J C Racing Stables and their four-year-old filly Years Go Bye, a solid winner of the Grade I Vanity Stakes at SA!
Prediction Devil Wears Prada / Chili King / Years Go Bye
Winner Years Go Bye
Four-year-old chestnut filly
Ironbound-Years Begone (Demons Begone)
Owner D J C Racing Stables
Time 48.87, 1:12.49, 1:36.50, 1:48.83
Years Go Bye 14.05 inside trip, angled out, just up
Chili King 2.05 set pace, wide into lane, missed
Devil Wears Prada *0.95 stalked, minor rally
Ryder 5.75 brief speed, faded
Vegas Gal 6.25 no factor
Triple T Racing
Categories: Grade I