Feel Glorious victorious in Memories of Silver
by Keith McCalmont
Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Tango Uniform Racing's Feel Glorious rallied last to first to capture the $100,000 Memories of Silver for sophomore fillies on Friday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by Christophe Clement, the daughter of Bated Breath settled at the back of the pack under Eric Cancel as La Feve carved out the early fractions marking the opening quarter-mile in 25.69 seconds and the half-mile in 49.69 in the 1 1/16-mile route over a firm outer turf course.
Blowout, the 6-5 mutuel favorite under Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, advanced down the backstretch with good energy up the rail, but stumbled slightly before recovering to fourth as La Feve, under constant pressure from Aunt Hattie, led the field into the final turn.
Cancel urged Feel Glorious into contention with a wide rally from the back while Castellano sought racing room behind the pacesetters, eventually splitting La Feve and Aunt Hattie with a strong burst to take command late in the lane.
However, Feel Glorious, racing in the clear outside of her rivals, maintained her good momentum and got up to win her North American stakes debut by a head, hitting the wire in 1:42.13.
Feel Glorious, previously trained in Europe by George Baker, was transferred to Clement in advance of her victorious North American debut on March 9 at Gulfstream Park. She remains undefeated for her new connections.
"She was very impressive when she won at Gulfstream last time," said Christophe Lorieul, assistant to Clement. "It was a similar kind of race. She was at the back, made one run, and got the job done. Today was obviously a better field and she got the job done. She's on the improving side.
"She'll be eligible for other stakes coming up," continued Lorieul. "The question for us was the mile and a sixteenth today, which we were not sure would be her best distance, but she proved today that she can handle it."
Cancel, aboard Feel Glorious for the first time in the afternoon, said he followed Clement's pre-race instructions to victory.
"She has some ability. They wanted me to cover her up and when I got to the quarter-pole, I just tried to get her in the clear," said Cancel. "The trip worked out well. I just did what they asked, and as soon as I asked her by the quarter-pole, she gave me all she had.
"It didn't matter if they went quick or slow," added Cancel. "With the ability that she has, she's pretty tactical. She can be closer to the pace or come from behind. We had an amazing trip. She'll keep on improving. It's just her second time out [in the United States] and she won a stakes, so she's proven she has the ability to belong here."
Blowout completed the exacta, 1 1/2-lengths in front of La Feve. Aunt Hattie and Her Royal Highness completed the order of finish. Main-track only entrants Two Dozen Roses and It Justhitthe Wire were scratched.
Castellano said Blowout, who arrived at the Memories of Silver from a good second in the Grade 3 Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs, would have appreciated more pace to chase.
"There just wasn't any pace in the race. I tried to follow the instructions for us to wait and make one move, but I had to stalk and ran into some trouble. When she got through, she went up front, so she has a lot of fight. I like that," said Castellano.
Bred in Great Britain by Mrs. E. C. Roberts, Feel Glorious banked $55,000 in victory, improving her record to three wins and one second from seven career starts. She paid $9.20 for a $2 win ticket.
Live racing returns at the Big A on Saturday for the closing day of the spring meet, highlighted by the $100,000 Woodhaven [Race 6] along with the Park Avenue [Race 8] and Times Square [Race 9] divisions of the New York Stallion Series Stakes. There will be a mandatory payout on all pools on Saturday. First post is 1:30 p.m.