Exploding down the stretch while coming from well off the pace, Irish-bred invader Capla Temptress took the $250,000 Grade 1 Natalma Stakes on Sept. 17 in her North American debut, stamping her ticket to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.
The Breeders' Cup Challenge Series “Win and You're In” event featured a field of nine juvenile fillies, going one mile over the Woodbine turf course.
Trained by Marco Botti for Team Valor International, Capla Temptress settled near the rear of the field under jockey Joel Rosario after being bumped at the start, while Dixie Moon set fractions of :23.69, :47.58, and 1:12.29 through the first three-quarters of a mile. Still in midpack at mid-stretch, Capla Temptress shifted gears when a path in front of her opened up and she sped by the leaders to complete the mile in a time of 1:35.12 over a course rated firm.
Sent off as the 5.70-1 third betting choice, Capla Temptress won by three-quarters of a length. Dixie Moon held second by a neck over 2.05-1 favorite Wonder Gadot.
"I bought her with this plan in mind," said owner Barry Irwin from Team Valor.
"She broke very nice and for a second I had a little clear spot," Rosario said. "I was just looking to follow Patrick (Husbands). He was on one of the speed horses (Wonder Gadot) on the outside. I was trying to let her be behind somebody all the time. She was very nice. I had to tap her a little bit on the backside to get her attention. After that, she did the job."
The daughter of Lope de Vega had three prior starts, all in Great Britain. She won her first start June 21 at Chelmsford City and then posted another win at Newmarket July 22, before finishing third in her stakes debut at the track Aug. 12 in the Group 3 German-Thoroughbred.com Sweet Solera Stakes.
Capla Temptress boosted her career bankroll to $139,362.
Photo slideshow from Penelope Miller/America's Best Racing