Devil Wears Prada Continues Career Resurgence In Gamely

Devil Wears Prada surges to the lead in the GR-1 Gamely Stakes at SA on Saturday.

The Gamely Stakes (Grade 1)- $300.000 Purse
SA- For Fillies and Mares Three Years Old and Upward
One Mile and One Eighth on the Turf
May 27, 2017

It might be a stretch to say that Devil Wears Prada is on the best form of her career right now, as after all she was pretty amazing as a three year old.   That year, she was within a length of winning the KYO, and was second in a photo finish in the Grade 1 Cotillion in the fall, a race that is always a preview for the BC Distaff.  That was such a long time ago, that it was called the BC Ladies Classic back then, and she even picked up a check in that race.   However, that seemed to be her peak, as 2015 went by with just one win, and 2016 had not a single in the money finish through August.   The glory days appeared over, but her career as caught a second wind.   Not many people may have noticed when she won an open allowance at RP in September, but that would start a streak of four wins in a row, and now five out of six with this win in the Grade 1 Gamely.  The non-win was a second place in a photo finish in the Grade 1 Wiley, earning a career best 102 SRF, which she duplicated here.  Pencil in Devil Wears Prada as one of the top comeback stories of 2017.   The winning trainer is Axeman, who took a $100.000 private sales shot with her when her career seemed to be have peaked.   It is his first win the stake, and the same holds true for winning jockey F Pennington.  Congratulations to the winners!  The time of the victory was 1:45.73, the quickest of the four editions run at SA.  Here’s a look at it!

½ Mile (:47.14)- The beginning portion of the race sees Must Be Nice (John Henry) and In Z Balance (Diablo Diablo) each get off to a quick start from their outside post positions.  By the time they hit the start finish line the first time on the frontstretch, they had already opened up a lead on third by about two lengths.  This gap would continue as they made their way around the first turn and began the backstretch trip.  Hitting a half in :47.14, Must Be Nice and In Z Balance were now out to a four length lead on the next closest competitor.  Stuck in a battle for third were Viking Amy (Delta Farms) and Duracell (TwinTowersRacing), each of whom started decently, but had no interest in joining the pacesetters.   Our eventual, winner, Axeman’s Devil Wears Prada ran fifth in the early going, about six lengths from the lead, and a length and a half behind the third place battle.   At the back, Taking Liberties from Blushing Meadows was noticeably restrained early, and trailed the field.

3/4 Mile (1:10.26)- Not much changed in regards to the running order, but you could start to see how different jockeys were planning their strategies on handling their mounts for the turn and the stretch.  Must Be Nice looked to try to pull away from In Z Balance, but the Diablo Diablo entry was having none of it and responded to pull even with him again.   Duracell and Viking Amy were in complete cruise control at this moment, and Devil Wears Prada and F Pennington prepared to make their move around those two at the top of the turn.  It would be a three wide move, but he did not have time to mess around with them as the gap to the leaders was still five lengths.  Taking Liberties remained at the back, and still was not doing much.

Top Of Stretch (1.4F To Go)- As we hit the top of the stretch, Must Be Nice and In Z Balance are still going at one another pretty good.   But as they battled, the challenges were picking up behind them.  Devil Wears Prada made the three wide move work while rounding the turn, but both Duracell and Viking Amy picked it up as well, making this a tougher pass then it seemed like it would be initially.  Together, the three of these were gaining on the leaders, and were all within two and a half lengths at the top of the stretch. Taking Liberties had some room on the rail, and pursued that option for the stretch.

Finish (1:45.73)- In the stretch, the rejuvenated Devil Wears Prada would be much the best, finding another gear, and win while pulling away.  She had two lengths to make up in the stretch, and while she did not necessarily blow by the competition, she was methodical with her way to the front, and it was never in doubt that she would pick up the win.   In Z Balance and Must Be Nice each held their own quite well, and would not be passed by anyone else, for second and third place finishes, respectively.  Duracell and Viking Amy were unable to keep up with Devil Wears Prada, and never really posed a threat to second and third until the very end when Duracell got close to Must Be Nice, but would need more race track to make the pass.  Taking Liberties could not gain any of the ground she conceded early.

About the Winner: Devil Wears Prada, ridden by F Pennington and trained by Axeman,  is a six year old mare by O Cayman and out of the late Ideology.  She was bred in West Virginia by Riddler Racing, where she ran for most of her earlier glory days.  She was acquired by Axeman in private sales for $100.000 in June 2016.  It is her 11th win in 34 career starts, and her second Grade 1 win.  Overall, she has won six graded stakes.  Her career earnings now sit at $1,715.910.  Congratulations to the connections!

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Wt Amt Won Time Cl
1
  Devil Wears Prada Axeman Pennington F 124 180.00 1:45.73
7
  In Z Balance Diablo Diablo Ocasio L M 124 60.00 1:46.01
6
  Must Be Nice John Henry Albarado R J 124 48.00 1:46.16
3
  Duracell TwinTowersRacing Bejarano R 124 12.00 1:46.23
5
  Viking Amy Delta Farms Velazquez J R 124 1:46.37
4
  Taking Liberties Blushing Meadows Moran D 124 1:46.64


Track: Firm

Scratched: Cinis, Pip Kadabra

#7 In Z Balance started in PP6.
#6 Must Be Nice started in PP5.
#3 Duracell started in PP2.
#5 Viking Amy started in PP4.
#4 Taking Liberties started in PP3.

— NS



Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES

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