In a virtual reprise of her victoriy in a December 26 stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, Cairoli Racing Stable's DEVILISH LADY (Sweetsouthernsaint) romped in Saturday's $73,250 Gasparilla S. The three-year-old filly extended her winning streak to four, and punched her tickets into graded company.
Devilish Lady's tour de force in the Gasparilla left little room for suspense. The 2-5 favorite rated in a close fifth through the initial quarter, just off the :23 split clocked by Royale Harbor (Rockport Harbor) in a contested pace. Miss Fifty (Johannesburg) briefly grabbed the lead when reaching the half in :46 1/5, but Devilish Lady was already bearing down on the outside.
Striding to the front in short order for Daniel Centeno, Devilish Lady widened her margin to 6 3/4 lengths while touring seven furlongs in 1:25 1/5. The Antonio Sano pupil returned $2.80, $2.40 and $2.10.
"I know she won like a really good filly," Centeno said, "but I was concerned starting wide when the inside seemed to be best all day. Then she broke out and I had to decide whether to go after the leaders or wait. We got to the turn and I knew I had to ask her then, even if it meant being five wide. But she was so good she just blew by them anyway and we just cruised home….She is really something special!"
My Pal Chrisy (Alex's Pal) outran her 27-1 odds to finish a clear second by 5 1/4 lengths, with Fashionable Elsa (Agnes Gold [Jpn]) likewise closing for third. Rounding out the strung-out field were Holy Royal (Holy Bull), Ravionetta (Touch Gold), Royale Harbor, Itcouldbesunshine (Maria's Mon) and Miss Fifty.
Devilish Lady has now dominated in each of her past four. Starting with a 7 3/4-length decision in the November 13 Joe O'Farrell Juvenile Fillies S., she next outclassed starter allowance opponents by five lengths on December 4, and crushed her rivals by eight lengths in the December 26 Sandpiper in her first start away from her Calder base. Claimed from Manny Tortora for $16,000 out of a winning effort on September 30, Devilish Lady finished a useful third in her debut for her new connections in the October 16 Cassidy S., and the dark bay now sports a mark of 10-6-0-2, $216,220.
Sano mentioned that Devilish Lady would aim for the seven-furlong Forward Gal S. (G2) at Gulfstream Park on January 30 before heading back to Tampa Bay Downs for the Suncoast S. over one mile and 40 yards on March 12.
Bred by the Lewis Family Stables Partnership in Florida, Devilish Lady is out of the multiple stakes-winning Devilish Brunette (Diablo), whose other foals include the multiple stakes-placed Captain Lindsay (Mecke) and a yearling colt by Alke. Devilish Lady has an intriguing pedigree pattern: she is inbred 2 x 3 to the full brothers Saint Ballado and Devil's Bag.