Protection is Bulletproof in Duchess Victory

July 22, 2015

Seven-furlongs is always a tricky distance for horses, and some just seem to excel at it, and the addition of that extra furlong proved perfect for Protection on Sunday in the Duchess Stakes at WO, as she found space late before bursting home to a one-length triumph. A stakes winning filly out of Charley Farley, from a mare who has produced stakes winners before, she failed to quicken in the Jersey Girl at BEL last time but found enough room here to score her third win from eight starts, and second stakes win over the WO oval in the last two months.

Longshot Pragmatic (16.75) broke first in the Duchess but Marshed (3.30) quickly established the early lead from the outside out of the chute and was nearly a length clear through the opening furlong. Mother Lode (2.25) dropped to the back of the pack as Protection (*0.70) held her spot along the rail and as the quartet marched through the first split of 23.88, Pragmatic made a tricky move three-wide before tucking back in again to save some energy. Heading into the far turn, Marshed was clearly the horse to beat with a two-length lead but while Pragmatic had gotten a good trip two-wide, Protection had actually dropped back slightly before turning on another gear and she looked like the danger through a half-mile in 47.17. As the field spun out of the turn, Marshed came wider than expected and left room up the inside for Protection and as has been the custom lately, she found that seam just perfect for her and moved forward with a dramatic rush while Pragmatic stalled outside. Marshed battled tooth and nail into the final furlong but could not withstand that perfect ride as Protection sprinted clear en route to a one-length win, with the pacesetter holding off both Pragmatic and an evenly paced Mother Lode for the minor spoils.

A return to WO, and a return to seven-furlongs, is just what the doctor ordered for Protection and the three-year-old filly became a duel stakes winner with a solid score in the Duchess over open rivals. The most advantageous spot for her to race next would be the Grade I Test at SAR but a race like the Grade III Seaway Stakes over this same course and distance might be perfect before a run in the CT Oaks, against three-year-olds again for a huge $350.000 purse.

Congratulations goes out to owner Team 7 Illusions and their three-year-old filly Protection, a rousing winner of the Duchess Stakes at WO!

Prediction             Marshed / Mother Lode / Pragmatic

Winner                  Protection

                                 Three-year-old bay filly

                                 Charley Farley-Strike Smart (Auto-Generated)

Owner                    Team 7 Illusions

Time                        23.88, 47.17, 1:10.73, 1:22.65


Protection              *0.70 inside run, found room, driving

Marshed                 3.30 set pace outside, two-wide into lane

Pragmatic              16.75 even late pace

Mother Lode          2.25 broke slow, no threat

Triple T Racing 🙂


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