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Lassie closes with a flash in Debutante

  • Flashy Lassie (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)

Barry L. King's FLASHY LASSIE (Flashy Bull) registered an upset in Saturday's $109,300 Debutante S. (G3) at Churchill Downs, rallying from far back to win as the 17-1 longest shot among seven two-year-old fillies. A smart nine-length debut winner over $20,000 maiden claimers on May 13, the Gary Simms-trained filly remained unbeaten while taking the steep class hike, receiving a picture-perfect ride from jockey Kent Desormeaux.

The early pace was hot in the six-furlong Debutante, with 8-5 Culotte (Sky Mesa) winging her way through a quarter-mile in :21 2/5 while being chased by speedster Shocktime (Langfuhr). Flashy Lassie was unhurried from the start, racing about seven lengths behind in sixth through the opening stages.

Five Star Momma (Five Star Day) was up close stalking the front runners in third and moved forward to grab the lead leaving the far turn, passing the half-mile point in :45 with a 1 1/2-length advantage. Flashy Lassie began to find her best stride on the far turn and entered the stretch full of momentum, but she still had only one rival beat at that point.

Five Star Momma looked extremely formidable in midstretch, extending her lead to 2 1/2 lengths with a furlong remaining, but the rapid pace began to exact a severe toll. Flashy Lassie was full of run on the far outside and blew past the tiring leader nearing the wire, drawing clear to a one-length decision. She stopped the teletimer in 1:10 4/5 on the fast track.

The victory marked the first stakes win beneath the historic Twin Spires for Simms, who has waged a battle with melanoma since early 2010.

"I've had two bone marrow transplants and stem cells since December, but I'm doing well now," Simms said. When asked how this win makes him feel, Simms responded by saying, "All the pain leaves!"

Flashy Lassie paid $37.20, $14.20 and $6.80. Five Star Momma easily held second as the 9-2 third choice, 8 3/4 lengths clear of the 9-1 Queen Teuta (Theatrical [Ire]) in third. My Due Process (Henny Hughes) came next under the wire and was followed by Tippy Toes (D'wildcat), Culotte and Shocktime. Defy Gravity (Bandini) was scratched.

A $4,000 purchase at last year's Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October sale, Flashy Lassie is the first starter for her dam, the unraced Lemon Drop Kid mare Lemon Pop Lassie, and represented her Grade 1-winning freshman sire with his first winner at stud when capturing her career bow. She was bred in Kentucky by Mr. and Mrs. Hugh G. King and has now earned $77,211 in her two starts.

The chestnut counts as half-sisters a yearling by Artie Schiller and a 2011 foal by U S Ranger. Her dam is a half-sister to Grade 3-placed stakes vixen Highland Torree (Menifee), and this is the female family of 1972 Preakness winner Bee Bee Bee (Better Bee).

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