By Jon Forbes | 08/15/2011 05:03 PM ET
Away cleanly in her second start, Stopshoppingmaria extended her advantage at every call under John Velazquez to break her maiden by 9 ¾ lengths on Sunday at Saratoga Race Course.
The final time for six furlongs was 1:09.87, good for a Beyer Speed Figure of 101, tying New York Watch member J C’s Pride for the highest figure achieved by a 2-year-old in 2011.
The victory impressed trainer Todd Pletcher so much that he was second guessing the decision to enter Stopshoppingmaria in the maiden race instead of the Grade 2 Adirondack later on the card.
“We contemplated going in the stake today, but ultimately we decided not to,” said Pletcher, who conditions the dark bay or brown filly for Mike Repole. “It might have been a mistake.”
In her previous start, Stopshoppingmaria stumbled badly at the break and raced evenly to finish third, beaten three lengths. The winner of that maiden race, My Miss Aurelia, returned to win the Adirondack by a neck.
“We expected [this kind of performance] in [Stopshoppingmaria’s] first start, but she stumbled and it took her out of her element,” said Pletcher.
If Stopshoppingmaria quickly bounces back from her maiden victory, Pletcher will consider running the daughter of More Than Ready in the Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga on September 4.
“She obviously put herself in a position to look at the Spinaway,” said Pletcher. “She’s in good shape. We’ll look at all our options.”
The Spinaway could serve as a rematch of the July 22 maiden race, with My Miss Aurelia also under consideration for the seven-furlong event.
Pinhooked for $50,000 as a yearling, Stopshoppingmaria was resold at the OBS March Selected Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training, where she was acquired by Pletcher on behalf of Repole for $100,000.
Bred in Kentucky by Mueller Farms, Stopshoppingmaria is out of Skybox, who as a juvenile finished second in a minor stakes at the Meadowlands. She has produced three horses with black type, including Sand Ridge, who won five stakes at Prairie Meadows and placed in a pair of Grade 3 events, and Dootsie, a stakes winner at Monmouth Park. Stopshoppingmaria’s second dam, stakes winner A Status Symbol, produced Ball Chairman, the dam of Canadian Champion Grass Horse Perfect Soul.
Stopshoppingmaria is the third filly Repole has named after his wife’s shopping habits, following in the footsteps of No Shopping Maria and Stopspendingmaria.
Horses previously featured in the New York Watch series include 2010 Champion Two-Year-Old Colt Uncle Mo; Boys At Tosconova, victorious in the Grade 1 Three Chimneys Hopeful; More Than Real, who annexed the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf; Breeders’ Futurity hero J. B.’s Thunder; To Honor and Serve, who swept the Nashua and Remsen; and multiple graded-stakes winner Winter Memories. Other graded stakes winners on the New York Watch list are Eightyfiveinafifty, Position Limit, Royal Delta, Overdriven, and My Miss Aurelia.