Undefeated champion Awesome Feather ran her record to 10-for-10 Thursday at Belmont Park as she came off an eight-month layoff to post a dominating 11 ¼-length victory in the $85,000 Nasty Storm S. The 4-year-old daughter of Awesome of Course was making her first start since her 5 ¾-length victory in January’s Sunshine Millions Distaff, her only other start of 2012.
With eight stakes wins to his credit in 2012, Awesome of Course ranks second among Florida sires in the category. His leading earner this year is Fort Loudon, winner of the Grade 3 Carry Back S. and $75,000 Unbridled S., both at Calder.
Ridden by the only jockey she has ever known, Awesome Feather was away from the gate alertly, and then settled in third a couple of lengths off a half-mile in :44.96 seconds. Sanchez gave his mount the cue to go on the turn, and Awesome Feather responded with a sudden move, opening up under a hand ride to hit the wire in a swift 1:33.47 for the mile.
“Six weeks out from the Breeders’ Cup (Ladies' Classic (G1) on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park), I think she needed a race, so I’m not at all upset about winning by that many and having a strong final time,” said Chad Brown, who trains the 2010 juvenile filly champion for Frank Stronach. “I think she needed the race and we got the race we needed.”
Purchased by Stronach for $2.3 million following her triumph in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and turned over to Brown, Awesome Feather won the Le Slew overnight stakes at last autumn at Belmont and the Grade 1 Gazelle at Aqueduct Racetrack in her two 2011 appearances.
“Her other three wins, she was nice and sound, but we never had her looking weight-wise and coat-wise the way we wanted,” said Brown. “This race, coming in, was the best she ever looked to me. We’re just fortunate the race went here, that they had a race for us at Belmont, and it should be a good stepping-stone to the Ladies’ Classic if she comes out of the race in good shape.”
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