AZALEA STAKES | PURSE: $150,000 | 3-YEAR-OLD FILLIES | GRADE 3 | 6 FURLONGS
Wildcat Lily stalked her way to a victory in the 39th running of the $150,000 Azalea Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Calder Race Course July 6.
Jockey Jose L Alvarez piloted the 3-year-old Manuel Azpurua trainee, as they kept pressure on the pacesetter, Dreaming of Susie, through swift fractions of :21.46, :45.17, and :57.47 for the 6 furlong dirt sprint. Challenging Dreaming of Susie at the top of the stretch, a fully extended Wildcat Lily rallied down the stretch to win by a neck.
"The trainer told me to put her 1, 2, 3; she felt good," said Alvarez. "It looked like [she was going to] stop the last sixteenth, but she never stopped; she ran good."
The daughter of D'Wildcat was bred in Florida by Tara and Paul Helman out of the French Deputy mare, French Jubilee and races for Rontos Racing Stable. Her win was not a shock to her conditioner. "I was not surprised," said Azpurua, "She is a very fine filly. She is easy to train."
Azpurua said he will have to "wait and see" where the filly will run next. "We have to take our time."
With Dreaming of Susie and Speedinthruthecity getting a bit more action at the betting window, Wildcat Lily went out at 4-1 odds.
Dreaming of Susie held on to finish second, an Speedinthruthecity kept pace, finishing third. By Golly Molly, trailing for most of the race gained some ground in a stretch run and finished fourth. Street Girl, Twice Told Tale, Bama Rose, and Guadalupe High completed the order of finish.
Wildcat Lily returned $10.20, $4.60, and $2.80. Dreaming of Susie, who was sent out at 5-2, paid $4.00 and $3.40; and Speedinthruthecity, with odds of 8-5, paid $2.40 for the show.
A $2 exacta paid out $38.60; $2 trifecta, $94.60, and $2 superfecta, $440.20.
Wildcat Lily added $90,210 to her earnings, which now equal $233,065 and improved her record to 5-3-1 from 16 starts.