Dubai Sky's first attempt at racing on a surface other than turf was a success. (Photo by Coady Photography)
The $550,000 Grade 3 Spiral Stakes was a race of firsts at Turfway Park on March 21, when Dubai Sky won for the new Three Chimneys Farm and Besilu Stables partnership.
The partnership, announced in September of last year, earned its first graded stakes victory with the Spiral win. Even more impressive is that the race was only the partnership’s 13th start.
Dubai Sky was making his first start on the main track in this race after winning three straight races on turf, including the Kittens Joy Stakes on Jan 24. The 3-year-old colt broke smoothly and settled in fourth behind the leaders through a fast, first quarter of :22.99 and half-mile in :47.57 for the 1 1/8-mile race.
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Midway down the backstretch, Dubai Sky moved up to challenge the leaders in a four-way battle for the lead. Watchyourownbobber gave up the fight on the lead, leaving three horses on the lead on the far turn with another group of horses chasing close behind. But it was all Dubai Sky as they turned into the stretch and the rest of the horses were only battling for second.
Dubai Sky pulled away to win the race by 2 ¼ lengths over Conquest Typhoon, who held off a late-closing Firespike for second. Dubai Sky won the race in a time of 1:50.26 for his first graded stakes victory. Metaboss, who was the 9-to-5 favorite, finished sixth.
Dubai Sky shipped into Turfway earlier this week, galloping on the track for the first time on Wednesday, and after getting a day on the track seemed to love the surface. However, the surface didn’t seem to be the biggest worry with the colt seeming to use energy in the paddock, acting skittish before the race.
“[I wasn’t] really worried but I was like ‘geeze, not today,’ ” said Penny Gardiner, Bill Mott’s assistant trainer. “It’s not nerves with him, he’s just kind of a big bruiser, I don’t know any other way to describe it. He just has kind of a mind of his own and likes to do things his way, which is OK as long as this is his way.
Dubai Sky isn’t nominated to the Triple Crown but Chris Baker, Three Chimneys Farm’s Chief Operating Officer seemed optimistic about a possible late nomination.
“Well, he paid his way so we'll see. We’ll think about it,” Baker said. “Roses in March, why not in May?”
Dubai Sky’s 7.40-to-1 odds paid $16.80 for a $2 win ticket. The win was the third of the day for jockey Jose Lezcano and first of the day for trainer Bill Mott.
The filly equivalent on the Spiral undercard was the $150,000 Grade 3 Bourbonette Oaks, won by Don’t Leave Me.
Don’t Leave Me closed from ninth, steadily moving her way through the field in the one-mile race. By the stretch call she was in third and won by three-quarters of a length over Sweet Success with California invader Sharla Rae finishing third.
DON'T LEAVE ME AFTER WINNING THE BOURBONETTE OAKS
Photo by Eclipse Sportswire
“She’s been training very well in Florida and I was hoping she was fit enough to go two turns and hoped that she’d take to the Polytrack again. The last time she was on Poly was against maidens. She’s definitely a very good grass filly but this opens up options for us,” said Don’t Leave Me’s trainer Malcolm Pierce.
Don’t Leave Me paid $13.40 to win on a $2 win ticket. For Equibase charts for the Spiral card, click here.
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