Teen Pauline scores first stakes win in Affectionately
By Jenny Kellner | 01/01/2014 02:38 PM ET
OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Teen Pauline took the lead coming out of the gate and never looked back as she cruised to an easy 4 ¾-length victory in Wednesday's $100,000 Affectionately, the New Year's Day co-feature at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Under Irad Ortiz, Jr., the 4-year-old Tapit filly set moderate fractions of 24.49, 49.21 and 1:14.04 with Street Secret, Centring and Royal Lahaina in pursuit. Edging away on the far turn, Teen Pauline swung into the stretch with a 3 ½-length lead and was never challenged as she completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.64.
"She was supposed to be on the lead; she broke good and I got the lead easily," said Ortiz. "She relaxed pretty good and was ready today. I just tried to wait as long as I could because she was very relaxed the whole way. When I asked her, she picked it up. I was just the passenger today."
Favored Centring closed to finish second, followed by Royal Lahaina and Street Secret. Welcome Guest was scratched.
The victory was the first in a stakes for Teen Pauline, a Stonestreet Stable homebred who set a Saratoga Race Course track record of 56.53 for five furlongs in her 2-year-old debut. She finished fourth in her first two starts of 2013 after being moved to trainer Todd Pletcher, and then posted a record of 1-1-1 in three starts on the turf. Switched back to dirt, she finished third in the Grade 3 Comely on November 30 at the Big A in her most recent start.
"We thought that with [Welcome Guest] scratched, Teen Pauline might be going out in front and, sure enough, she did," said Pletcher's assistant, Byron Hughes. "She got an easy enough lead and did what she was supposed to do."
Sent off at 3-1, Teen Pauline returned $8 for a $2 win bet and earned $60,000. Overall, she is 3-1-3 from nine starts and has amassed $281,300.