- Road to the Kentucky Derby
- Racing & Wagering
- Derby Experience
- Plan Your Visit
Onlyforyou continues to impress in Forward Gal
Glencrest Farm's Onlyforyou flashed to the front at the start and led all the way in Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Forward Gal at Gulfstream Park, remaining unbeaten with a 2 3/4-length decision in the seven-furlong event. Javier Castellano guided the extremely promising Todd Pletcher-trained filly.
The Forward Gal is part of the "Road to the Kentucky Oaks" series and Onlyforyou established herself as a top contender for the 1 1/8-mile event on May 2. She garnered 10 points for capturing her stakes debut and the three-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon could be pointed toward the next scoring race at Gulfstream, the Grade 2 Davona Dale at 1 1/16 miles February 22.
The bay filly quickly opened a short lead on her rivals after the break and completed the opening quarter-mile in :22 3/5 with a half-length advantage. Aurelia's Belle, the only member of the six-horse field who tried to apply pressure, was a length back after a half-mile in :45 1/5, but Onlyforyou kicked clear leaving the far turn to eliminate any suspense.
"Javier and I talked about letting her run her race and just playing it by ear," Pletcher said. "We thought we'd probably be stalking the one (Resistivity), but when the (No.) 1 didn't get away as cleanly as we did I wasn't afraid for her to be where she was.
"She's a beautiful filly, big scopy good-looking filly that has tactical speed."
The winner dominated through the stretch drive, passing the six-furlong mark in 1:09 3/5 up by 1 1/2 lengths, and continued to draw away in the final furlong, stopping the teletimer in 1:22 2/5 on the fast track.
Favored at 1-5, Onlyforyou returned a paltry $2.60 win payout to her supporters.
Aurelia's Belle easily held second in a commendable effort, finishing three lengths better than Resistivity in third. Next under the wire came My Dear Regina, Flash Encounter and Stately Defence.
"I didn't expect her to be on the lead, but she was so sharp today," Castellano said. "She did it so easy and broke on top. The way she did it was impressive.
"When the other horse (Aurelia's Belle) came to her, she took off again. I like the way she did it today."
Onlyforyou made her career debut on November 10 at Aqueduct, posting a 2 1/4-length victory in a six-furlong maiden special weight, and followed with a 3 1/2-length romp at Gulfstream Park on December 15, defeating optional claiming foes at the same distance.
"It kind of speaks for itself," Pletcher said of her unbeaten record. "Anytime you have one win three in a row to start their career, it's not very many of them that do that. She's a filly that has always impressed us in her training.
"It's been a pretty straightforward introduction so far."
Onlyforyou easily handled the stretch out to seven panels Saturday and is bred to handle more ground as well.
"She's trained like she'll run further, and she was able to relax a little bit in her first two starts so she's not one-dimensional even though she won on the lead today," Pletcher said. "That's pretty much it on the calendar here for sprints, so if we're going to run back at Gulfstream we're going to have to stretch out.
Onlyforyou has earned $188,100 from her three starts.
Bred in Kentucky by Elm Tree Farm LLC & Popatop LLC, Onlyforyou was purchased for $115,000 at the 2012 Keeneland September sale. She is out of the Grade 3-placed mare Erhu, a daughter of Tactical Cat. The third maternal dam, the unraced Bold Bidder mare Great Finesse, produced three stakes winners and this is the female family of Grade 1 winner Unfurl the Flag.