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I'm Already Sexy Wires Pucker Up Rivals
Hit the Board Stables' I'm Already Sexy, an easy winner in a division of the Hatoof Stakes in her local prep, assumed command of the lead through the stretch the first time and never faced a serious challenge en route to a 3¾ length victory in the Grade III $175,000 Pucker Up Stakes for 3-year-old fillies Saturday at Arlington International Racecourse.
Remaining unbeaten from three tries on the Arlington turf course, I'm Already Sexy was a comfortable leader through fractions of :23.51, :48.39 and 1:12.80 under Florent Geroux, completing the nine-furlong trip in 1:48.12.
“I thought we’d be the horse on the lead. My filly was very nice and comfortable. I had a lot of horse. Turning for home when I asked her, she just went on and won very easy. It was an impressive performance here. This was a very nice field and this filly has a bright future,” said Geroux after winning his second Pucker Up. (Dade Babe in 2010 was the jockey’s first win in the race.)
Trainer Wayne Catalano, also scoring his second victory in the Pucker Up, was equally pleased, “It looked like there was no speed in the race. We had the rail with some speed. I told Florent to take advantage of that situation. I told him, ‘Let’s take it to them in the first turn – I don’t care what you do after that. Make them do what they got to do from there.’” (Catalano’s first win in the Pucker Up was with Dreaming of Anna in 2007.)
Now a five-time winner, I'm Already Sexy ($4.20, $3.00, $2.40) boosted her career bankroll to $234,190 with the of $101,850 winner's share.
Every Way ($6.20, $3.40), ridden by Emmanuel Esquivel for trainer Mike Stidham and owner Haynes Stables LLC, was always the nearest pursuer but was unable to take ground away from the winner while holding clear for second. “She broke well and we got a good position. She was relaxed and comfortable. I put her on top of the leader and she kicked away from us, so I put her right back on top of her again and the other filly had too much left,” said Esquivel.
Timothy Keeley's My Option ($3.20) tracked the pace in third under Eduardo Perez and held that position throughout for trainer Chris Block. “I had a wonderful trip. I just didn’t have enough horse to finish ahead of where I was. She tried hard; she always does,” Perez said.
Remember Then, Frivolous, I O Ireland, Miss Scout, and Phonybooksnrecords completed the order of finish.