Bobby Flay’s Dame Dorothy outlasted Judy the Beauty and Moonlit Stroll after a stretch-long battle to win the 29th running of the $300,000 Humana Distaff (GI) for fillies and mares by a neck.

         Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Javier Castellano, Dame Dorothy covered the seven furlongs on a fast main track in 1:22.67. It was the second victory in the race for Castellano, who won in 2005 on My Trusty Cat.

        Moonlit Stroll led the field of seven through fractions of :23.09 and :46.47 while maintaining a daylight margin over the Judy the Beauty with Dame Dorothy and Thank You Marylou right behind in the second flight.

        On the far turn, Judy the Beauty moved first at Moonlit Stroll and was joined by Dame Dorothy as the trio hit the top of the stretch as a team. The three horses raced together until deep stretch where Dame Dorothy slowly drew away.

The victory was worth $169,260 and hiked Dame Dorothy’s bankroll to $606,720 with a record of 8-6-1-1. Dame Dorothy is a 4-year-old Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Bernardini out of the Woodman mare Vole Vole Monamour.

Dame Dorothy returned $7.20, $3.20 and $2.60. Judy the Beauty, ridden by Mike Smith, returned $2.80 and $2.20 with Moonlit Stroll finishing another neck back and returning $5.20 to show under Brian Hernandez Jr.

It was 2 ¼ lengths back to Sweet Reason in fourth. She was followed in order by Clearly Confused, Thank You Marylou and You Bought Her.

HUMANA DISTAFF QUOTES

JAVIER CASTELLANO, jockey of DAME DOROTHY (winner)

“You’ve got to use this filly away from there; she’s not the quickest out of the gate. So I got after her and she responded. When we got position, I felt very good. Every time I asked her, she gave it to me. Coming down the stretch I knew it was going to be close. I knew (race favorite) Judy the Beauty  was going to be tough. But my filly kept responding and she gave me so much confidence I felt I could celebrate a little before the wire.”

TODD PLETCHER, trainer of DAME DOROTHY (winner)

“She got bounced around there pretty good at the start, but (jockey) Javier (Castellano) was able to bounce her into the perfect spot. It was just harried the first 100 yards. We’ve been trying to find out her optimum distance. I wasn’t a 100 percent sure that as a daughter of Bernardini, she couldn’t go long. But I thought her seven-eighths race at Gulfstream was probably her best to date. After that we decided to back her up into here. This is probably her niche. This was a big win. It was important for our filly to get the Grade I.”

MIKE SMITH, jockey of JUDY THE BEAUTY (second)

“She ran well, not much else to say to be honest. She just kind of needed the race, that’s all.”

BRIAN HERNANDEZ JR., jockey of MOONLIT STROLL (third)

“Our filly was kind of the underdog today and everybody kind of let her go out on the lead real easily and turning for home I thought she ran really nice. This was only her second race off the layoff. I think if she would have had one more race before this race she would’ve probably held those horses off.”