Occult unleashed her move upon arriving at the top of the stretch in the $100,000 Busanda S. at Aqueduct, surging to a clear lead and rolling home to a 3 3/4-length victory with Dylan Davis. The three-year-old filly confirmed herself as an up-and-coming contender for the Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs on May 5, earning 20 points for winning the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series qualifier.
Chad Brown trains the daughter of Into Mischief for Alpha Delta Stables, and Occult was exiting a 4 1/4-length maiden special weight romp at Aqueduct in mid-December in her second start.
The dark bay miss stretched out to 1 1/8 miles for her stakes debut Saturday, tracking in second through fractions of :23.88, :48.77, and 1:14.22 before going on to stop the teletimer in 1:54.78.
Occult left the starting gate as the 7-5 favorite among five rivals. Gambling Girl, who was exiting a third in the Demoiselle (G2) at Aqueduct in early December, rallied to be a clear second, 3 1/4 lengths better than Affirmative Lady, who was off as the 9-5 second choice after a runner-up in the Demoiselle.
Sweetest Princess, the pacesetter at 21-1, was out-nosed for third. Aniston didn’t break well and after traveling far back, she was eased in the stretch and walked off the track.
A $625,000 yearling purchase at the 2021 Keeneland September sale, Occult was bred in Kentucky by Peter Blum Thoroughbreds and is the third stakes winner from the Grade 2-winning Empire Maker mare Magical Feeling.