Micheline Scores First Graded Triumph In Hillsborough Stakes

Making her first starting since a second-place finish to Harvey’s Lil Goil in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II at Keeneland last Oct. 10, Godolphin LLC’s homebred Micheline recorded her first graded stakes victory in Saturday’s Grade 2 Hillsborough Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar, Fla.

Ridden for the first time by Luis Saez and trained by Michael Stidham, the 4-year-old filly by Bernardini out of the multiple G1 winning Include mare Panty Raid, was clocked in 1:47.19 for 1 1/8 miles on firm turf. She paid $11.20 for the victory.

Morning Molly finished second, with New York Girl third and La Signore and Miss Teheran dead-heating for fourth in the field of 10. Magic Attitude, the 3-1 favorite, breaking from the inside post, had some early traffic troubles, didn’t get untracked until late and was never a factor.

Myhartblongstodady went to the front under Daniel Centeno, setting fractions of :24.23, :48.80 and 1:12.41 for the first six furlongs. Morning Molly raced in second, with Micheline, who broke from the outside post position, just behind the top pair and in the clear to the outside.

Approaching the stretch, Morning Molly turned up the heat on the front runner, but Saez and Micheline had them both measured, swinging to the outside and moving to the lead in the stretch. Passing the mile marker in 1:35.74, they cruised to the victory, Micheline’s fifth in 13 starts.

“That was the spot I was trying to get, and we got lucky,” said Saez. “She broke good and we were right there. At the half-mile pole, when I started asking her, she started to pick it up, and when we got to the straight everything was about battling, and she did that pretty well. She gave me her kick and it was super. Watching her replays, I knew she could win this race, and it’s great when everything comes together so well.”

Micheline broke her maiden in Monmouth Park’s Sorority Stakes at 2 in 2019, adding a late December allowance victory at Tampa Bay Downs. As a 3-year-old she won Gulfstream’s Honey Ryder and the Dueling Grounds Oaks at Kentucky Downs.

“She is definitely a fighter,” Stidham’s assistant, Ben Trask, said after the Hillsborough. “She is kind of a silly filly – she’s a bad stall walker, so she lives in a little tent behind the barn. She is definitely a unique filly with a lot of talent. I was a little concerned with the outside post and whether she would overcome it. Luis put her in a great spot the whole time and when he called on her, she was there.”

The post Micheline Scores First Graded Triumph In Hillsborough Stakes appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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