- Road to the Kentucky Derby
- Racing & Wagering
New Normal enhances Breeders' Cup credentials at Woodbine
In the $195,084 Natalma S. (Can-G3) at Woodbine, Robert S. Evans' homebred NEW NORMAL (Forestry) led throughout to take the one-mile feature by 1 1/2 lengths under Javier Castellano. Establishing splits of :23 4/5, :47 4/5 and 1:12 1/5, New Normal maintained a one-length advantage much of the way, turned back a brief challenge by Dos Lunas (Hennessy) a furlong out, and pulled away again to finish in 1:36 2/5.
The near 7-1 fifth choice in the field of eight, New Normal paid $15.80, $5.70 and $3.70. More Than Real (More Than Ready), the 4-5 favorite off a debut turf score at Saratoga, closed from sixth to easily capture second by 1 3/4 lengths over 4-1 second choice and stablemate Street Chimes (Street Cry [Ire]), who was buried down on the rail the entire trip. Dos Lunas weakened to fourth, 1 1/2 lengths farther back. More Than Real paid $2.70 and $2.40, while Street Chimes returned $3.80.
The exacta paid $38.90 and the 5-7-2 trifecta was worth $170.20. Following Dos Lunas across the wire were Pulling for Dixie (Pulpit), Molinaro Social (Line of Departure), Sheba's Secret (Kingmambo) and The Platinum Angel (Roman Ruler).
Roxy Gap (Indian Charlie), who was undefeated in three starts and figured to be one of the favorites for the Natalma, was scratched Saturday morning after spiking a temperature.
"If she's okay, we'll look to the Mazarine (S. [Can-G3] on October 9) and then hopefully, we can set our sights on getting to the Breeders' Cup," said Mark Casse, the trainer of Roxy Gap.
This was the third career start and second win over the Woodbine turf for the Kentucky-bred New Normal. Fourth in her seven-furlong debut August 2, the bay returned to the track August 28 and led gate-to-wire to win a maiden at the same distance by 2 3/4 lengths. She's now bankrolled $152,178.
"She's a big, strong filly," trainer Mark Frostad said. "She was a little plain, but she's developed very nicely along the way along. We thought we'd give her a shot in here and she rewarded us.
"I'm certainly hopeful (of running in the November 5 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf [G2] at Churchill Downs)," Frostad continued. "I'm sure we're all of the same mind at this point. If everything's well, it'll be a go."
Produced by Grade 2 turf queen New Economy (Red Ransom), New Normal is a half-sister to Distorted Economy (Distorted Humor), who was a half-length third in the September 3 El Cajon S. at Del Mar in his stakes debut, and to a yearling colt by Malibu Moon. New Economy herself is a half-sister to the dam of 2009 Breeders' Futurity (G1) winner Noble's Promise (Cuvee).
New Normal's third dam, Far Beyond (Nijinsky II), founded a notable family whose descendents include champion turf mare Soaring Softly (Kris S.), Canadian champion Wavering Girl (Wavering Monarch), Grade 1 winners Plenty of Grace (Roberto) and Military (Danzig), and Grade 2 winners Diabolical (Artax), Duality (Seeking the Gold), Tricky Creek (Clever Trick), Parade Ground (Kingmambo), Parade Leader (Kingmambo) and Speed Dialer (Phone Trick). Further back, another branch of this family resulted in three notable full siblings by Halo, the champions Glorious Song and Devil's Bag as well as Grade 2 winner Saint Ballado.