Fashion Alert serves notice in stylish Astoria victory
By Jenny Kellner | 06/14/2014 04:20 PM ET
Fashion Alert became a stakes winner in her very first start, seizing the lead shortly after the break and galloping off to a 4 ¾-length victory in the $100,000 Astoria on Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park.
The lone first-timer in the field of six 2-year-old fillies, Fashion Alert was quickly sent to the front from the outside post by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, setting an opening quarter-mile fraction of 22.37 seconds with Lindy and Awesomendensome in pursuit. Shaking free of those two on the turn, Fashion Alert spun into the stretch with a four-length lead and was never challenged as she cruised under the wire in 1:04.01 for 5 ½ furlongs.
"She broke to the inside and after three jumps she got into a nice rhythm and sat out in the middle of the track for a while," said Velazquez. "It was pretty easy. I sat on the outside and rushed her a little bit just to make sure those horses didn't get away, but she was going so easy I just let her do it."
Fashion Alert, the second choice at 9-5, returned $5.70 for a $2 win wager and earned $60,000 for owner George Bolton, who paid $125,000 for the Old Fashioned filly last September at Keeneland.
"I thought she did everything we hoped she would do," said trainer Todd Pletcher, who notched his fourth victory in the Astoria. "She got away pretty alertly and put herself in good position. It was an advantage to have the outside post, which we were happy about when the draw came out. She's a very talented filly that ran to her training."
Pletcher, who is 2-0-1 with his juveniles at Belmont Park this spring, said the Grade 3, $100,000 Schuylerville on July 18 at Saratoga Race Course likely would be the next spot for Fashion Alert.
Liatris, the narrow favorite, closed to finish second, with Lindy another 2 ½ lengths back in third. Dads Little Girls checked in fourth, followed by Julie's Indy and Awesomendensome.