Feeling Lucky: Blind Luck, Evening Jewel and Paddy O’Prado
Posted by Brian Appleton on August 22, 2010
The three year old filly championship is pretty much a done deal after Blind Luck proved herself to be the overwhelming leader with one of her patented late runs in Saratoga’s Alabama Stakes (gr.1). In what was supposed to be one of the biggest East vs. West Coast duels of the year, New York’s odds-on favorite Devil May Care never fired a shot as Californian sensation Blind Luck rolled to her fifth Grade 1 victory of her career and third of the year after her
Kentucky Oaks and Las Virgenes Stakes wins.
At the break it was Acting Happy to the lead with Tizahit, Connie and Michael and Havre de Grace right behind with Devil May Care in fifth. It was two lengths back to Blind Luck holding her customary rear position in the field of six as Acting Happy carved out slow fractions of :24.03, :49.45 and 1:14.89, fractions that for any normal athlete with a closing style like Blink Luck’s would spell trouble.
As Acting Happy led the field into the final turn Havre de Grace surged forward as Devil May Care shot up behind the leaders, three wide coming into the homestretch. From behind Blind Luck had kicked it into high gear and was zipping into the turn widest of all. Rocketing into the stretch, she easily disposed of Devil May Care and gunned for Havre de Grace, now loose on the lead and charging hard for the wire. Running for all she was worth Blind Luck proved easily the best down the stretch as she got up before the wire to seize the win by a thrilling neck. Although the official charts say she won by a mere neck, the final margin was much more like a half length.
Havre de Grace proved herself to be one of the best fillies in the country with yet another stylish performance in the Alabama after handing Blind Luck one of the toughest wins of her career in the Delaware Oaks (gr.2) in both fillies prior starts.
In the end the Alabama was almost an exact replay of the Delaware Oaks (gr.2) when Havre de Grace was defeated a nose at the wire by Blind Luck in a thrilling stretch drive that put on full display the heart and class of two exceptional fillies. Blind Luck is quickly gaining a reputation of brilliance and incredible consistency that puts her in a league all her own this year among three year old fillies. This filly stands a strong chance to steal the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic or even be a threat in the Classic if her connections were so inclined as to run here there. She is the kind of filly that looks like she can do it all, I haven’t been this excited about a filly since Indian Blessing was running.
Across the country approximately three and a half hours after Blind Luck was finished thrashing her Alabama foes her greatest rival continued to ascend the ranks of the nation’s leading three year old fillies with a decisive win in the Del Mar Oaks (Gr.1). After heartbreaking defeats to Blind Luck in both the Las Virgenes Stakes (gr.1) and Kentucky Oaks (gr.1) Evening Jewel has since gone undefeated in three consecutive graded stakes races since switching to the turf.
Darting through a hole on the rail at the top of the stretch, Evening Jewel shot to the lead and had enough to hold off a fast charging Harmonious, winning by a half length. It must be noted that past the wire Harmonious galloped out past the winner looking very strong. If she had started her rally a little sooner she might have been able to catch Evening Jewel for the win but at the end of the of the day Evening Jewel was a deserving winner.
She is one of the most versatile fillies to grace our American tracks in years, running competitively on synthetic surfaces, turf and dirt as well as handling wet conditions with no problem. In my opinion this is the second best three-year-old filly in the country right now. I would love to see a Blind Luck, Evening Jewel match happen again later in the year.
Paddy O’Prado turned in yet another sensational win on Saturday as he took down the Secretariat Stakes (gr.1) at Arlington for the first grade one win of his stellar career. After gaining national prominence when finishing second in
the Kentucky Derby behind Super Saver and finishing sixth in the Preakness Stakes, Paddy O’Prado has since gone on to win the grade 2 Colonial Turf Cup and the Virginia Derby. He is beyond a doubt the leading three-year-old turf male, but after Gio Ponti’s upset in the Arlington Million (gr.1) I’m beginning to think he is the best turf male this year, regardless of age. On an ending note, I just have to say I think Cherokee Lord turned in a very good performance in the Secretariat. He kept fighting the whole way through the stretch after leading the field throughout. Even though he finished fourth it was only two lengths to Paddy O’Prado at the wire and he looked nice galloping out.