Grace Bay cruises to Caesar's victory

After 5 1/2 -length win, filly may head to `Black-Eyed'

Horse Racing

April 27, 2003|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Grace Bay trounced the field, including the 3-5 favorite, in the $75,000 Caesar's Wish Stakes over a muddy surface yesterday at Pimlico Race Course.

Grace Bay, a bay Maryland-bred daughter of Waquoit who was bred by her owner, earned a resounding 5 1/2 -length victory over her uncoupled stablemate, Demetra's Love. Dale Capuano trains both fillies.

Odds-on favorite Coquettish could not mount a sufficient rally and tired to last.

In a four-horse race, scratched down from an original seven, Grace Bay broke third but was racing ahead of Coquettish. She tracked the pacesetters into the far turn, then charged into the lead and glided home in 1 minute, 45.47 seconds for the 1 1/16 miles.

Grace Bay paid $9.60.

"I had a lot more horse than I thought I would," said jockey Rick Wilson, who rode the filly for the first time. "I thought I'd be further back. She was on the bit and just dragging me, but from then on she just did it easily."

Trainer Capuano said: "I've worked her three times in the mud and she's worked well. I changed equipment on her because she was getting out and I think we found the right equipment. She has been troubled in many of her races but today she was flawless, with a perfect Rick Wilson ride."

Capuano indicated that he is pointing Grace Bay to the $200,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, a Grade II race May 16.

"This race has been in our plans as a steppingstone to the Black-Eyed Susan," he said. "She finished up very well today, and her running style suits the distance."

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