ARCADIA, Calif. (March 1, 2018)–Faced with the lofty assignment of taking on a Bob Baffert-trained odds-on favorite in her Southern California debut, the Brian Koriner-conditioned First Dudette was more than equal to the challenge as she overtook heavily favored Cognitive turning for home and prevailed by a half length over a hard charging Poetic to take Thursday’s $56,000 Santa Anita allowance feature by a half length. Ridden confidently by Rajiv Maragh, First Dudette got seven furlongs in 1:24.52.
“We got this filly in late January,” said Koriner of his newly acquired 3-year-old filly by First Dude. “We never really set her down, but we knew she could run. As confident as Rajiv looked out there, it made me feel pretty confident going into the far turn. We’ll look for a stakes for her next start.”
A close second in a first condition allowance at Tampa Bay Downs Jan. 10, First Dudette was off at 6-1 in a field of four 3-year-old fillies and with no show wagering, paid $14.80 and $7.40.
Three-wide and a joint second, a half length off the favorite, Maragh took a confident look back three furlongs from home.
“Yes, I was very confident at that point,” said Maragh. “I felt like I had a lot left and I had those two fillies (Cognitive at the rail with Drayden Van Dyke and Fracas with Rafael Bejarano) measured. I took a look back to check on the four (Poetic, with Mike Smith) because I didn’t want to inherit the lead too soon.”
Bred in Florida and owned by Blinkers On Stable, Janet Lyons, C. Robin, J. VanDrie and L. Wagner, First Dudette is now 4-2-2-0 and with the winner’s check of $33,600, she has earnings of $71,700.
Idle since running sixth in the Grade I Del Mar Debutante Sept. 2, the Richard Mandella-trained Poetic added blinkers but lagged in the early stages and was nearly seven lengths last with three furlongs to run. With Smith niggling to her however, she was quickly into contention turning for home and finished powerfully to best Cognitive by 3 ¼ lengths at the wire.
Off at 2-1, Poetic paid $5.80 to place.
Fractions on the race were 22.76, 45.65 and 1:11.04.
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