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Unlimited Budget wires Demoiselle
Emollient tried to snatch victory away from Repole Stable's Unlimited Budget in Saturday's Grade 2, $237,500 Demoiselle at Aqueduct, but the Street Sense filly would not be denied, scoring by 1 1/4 lengths on the wire and improving her mark to a perfect two-for-two.
The bay lass exited the gates as the even-money second choice, and returned $4.10 and $2.10 to her backers after show wagering was canceled on the scratch-depleted field. She also earned 10 points toward next year's Kentucky Oaks based on the new series.
Unlimited Budget set the pace in the 1 1/8-mile contest from the start while tracked by Giant Cats Eye through the opening half in :24 1/5 and :48 3/5. Emollient moved up along the rail and raced in tandem with that rival nearing the turn and took off after Unlimited Budget in the lane. The juvenile filly dug in and refused to yield, though, stopping the clock in 1:52 over the fast main track.
"No problem, but she's still a little on the green side," jockey John Velazquez said of his ride aboard the Demoiselle winner. "She's looking around. We'll probably have to put a little shadow roll on her. She's looking at the ground a little."
Emollient settled on the rail as Giant Cats Eye pressed the winner before putting in her challenge down the lane. The Empire Maker miss was best of the rest despite running greenly in the stretch as the 4-5 favorite.
It was another 4 3/4 lengths back to Giant Cats Eye, who had a head to spare on Flash Forward. Miss Patricia, Ruby Lips and Unlimited Budget's stablemate Coconut Shrimp were all withdrawn.
Bred in Florida by Ocala Stud, Unlimited Budge has now earned back $190,200 of her original $475,000 purchase prize as an OBS March two-year-old in training earlier this season. Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden in both lifetime starts by Velazquez, she took her racing debut by 9 1/2 lengths 15 days ago on November 9 at Aqueduct.
"You're always concerned running back a little quick, but she seemed to bounce out of the race pretty well, physically and mentally," Pletcher said of the quick turn around. "She did everything right, never seemed to turn a hair, and came back with a really good work the other day. We felt it was a calculated risk. For only her second start, it was a big effort.
"We thought she breezed really well at OBS and has a nice blend of stamina and speed. Very classy filly."
Unlimited Budget is out of the stakes-placed Valid Appeal mare Unlimited Pleasure and counts as half-siblings Grade 3 scorers Beacon Shine and Jardin, who are both by Montbrook. Unlimited Pleasure is herself a half-sister to the Grade 1-winning Montbrook colt Outofthebox as well as the dam of dual Grade 2 victor Tackleberry, who is also by Montbrook. Others of note in this female family include multiple Grade 1 hero Mighty Appealing and Group 2 vixen Widaad.
"(The quick turnaround) was the biggest risk, how is she going to react?" owner Mike Repole admitted. "Todd worked her last week. She worked with Violence and worked really, really well. She ran a mile, and there are no other two-year-old or three-year-old stakes going a distance until February.
"We'll take her down to Florida and won't race her until February, give her all the time she needs, and get her ready for a nice three-year-old campaign."
Repole has had an incredible week, taking the Grade 3 Fall Highweight Handicap on Thursday with Caixa Eletronica and the Super Mario overnight stakes on Friday with Notacatbutallama.
"Four stakes races (this week), three wins, two left," he grinned. "As I said, I'd be fortunate to go one-for-six. To be three-for-four with two left, I'll sign up for that, unless I lose next two, then I won't."
After the Demoiselle, Pletcher sent out Repole's Overanalyze to take the Grade 2 Remsen and then saddled Stay Thirsty to a narrow victory in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile.