Speedy Behave Virginia Gets Second Career Win In Debutante At Churchill Downs

Lucky Seven Stable’s Behave Virginia ran down swift pacesetter Wicked Halo and out-kicked 7-5 favorite Ontheonesandtwos in deep stretch to win Saturday’s 120th running of the $150,000 Debutante Stakes by one length at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

Ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr. and trained by Kenny McPeek, Behave Virginia ran the first sub-1:10 Debutante since Rated Fiesty’s 2007 stakes record of 1:09.27.

The quick final time was the result of a record-setting pace and a fast track. Wicked Halo, who broke from the rail in the field of eight 2-year-old fillies, was rushed to the front with Tizplenty and Mollie Kate just off her hip. Down the backstretch after a first quarter mile in :21.11 and the half in :44.61, Behave Virginia was rated in fourth with Ontheonesandtwos on the outside in the clear. Wicked Halo put away the accompanying speed leaving the turn and was quickly met by the converging Behave Virginia and Ontheonesandtwos at the three-sixteenths pole. Behave Virginia edged clear with a sixteenth of a mile to run and Ontheonesandtwos slipped past an understandably tiring Wicked Halo by a half-length for the place.

“She’s a really talented filly to be able to sit behind some pretty good horses like that and win the way she did,” Hernandez said. “When the spot opened up, she went through like an old professional would. It’s a testament of how good she is. She answered a lot of questions today and we are very proud of her.”

The victory was worth $90,210 which increased the 2-year-old filly’s earnings to $147,698 with a perfect record in two starts. Prior to her Debutante triumph, Behave Virginia broke her maiden at Churchill Downs on May 28 by 5 ¾ lengths at odds of 7-1.

“Typically we don’t crank our horses to win first time out,” McPeek said. “Usually when they win first out, it’s because they do it on their own talent. That’s what she did. She reminds me of Take Charge Lady with her early ability on the racetrack. I think we may have seen a Breeders’ Cup contender. I’ll point her to the Alcibiades (in the Fall Meet at Keeneland) and go from there. I’ll probably take her to Saratoga with me this summer just so I can keep an eye on her.”

Behave Virginia paid $10.20, $4.20, and $3.20 as the 4-1 third betting choice. Ontheonesandtwos, under Florent Geroux, returned $3.20 and $2.40. Wicked Halo, with Ricardo Santana Jr. up, paid $2.80.

Tizplenty, Classiness, Catchusifyoucan, Compressed Energy, and Mollie Kate completed the order of finish.

Behave Virginia is a 2-year-old daughter of Unified out of the Mineshaft mare She’s Behaving. She was bred in Kentucky by Khalid Mishref Alkahtani and was purchased as a yearling at the 2020 Keeneland September Sale for Michael J. Mackin’s Lucky Seven Stable for $115,000.

The Debutante, first staged in 1895 and one of Churchill Downs’ most storied races, was one the second of three stakes races on Saturday’s closing day card at Churchill Downs.

The post Speedy Behave Virginia Gets Second Career Win In Debutante At Churchill Downs appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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