Devil’s Cave Sets Track Record in $200,000 Sabin Score
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Convinced that Devil’s Cave fell victim to a slow pace and should have won the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Distaff last time out, trainer Marty Wolfson’s instructions to jockey Javier Castellano Sunday at Gulfstream Park were clear: Send her!
The two-time defending Gulfstream riding champ followed Wolfson’s instructions in the $200,000 Sabin Stakes and Devil’s Cave responded with a sizzling front-running triumph that broke the track record. While turning the tables on Sweet N Discreet, who captured the Sunshine Millions Distaff, Devil’s Cave ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:41, eclipsing the record of 1:41.17 set by Golden Lad on Feb. 5.
“I think the jockey made a huge mistake last time. He told me he did. She has high speed and to make a horse like her go 1:14-and-2 (for six furlongs) really discourages her,” said Wolfson, who also saddled longshots Gamay Noir and Kipling’s Joy for fifth- and sixth-place finishes, respectively. “She still came back again, that’s why I knew she was a better horse than Sweet N Discreet.”
After setting dawdling fractions before finishing second to Sweet N Discreet last time, Devil’s Cave took total control of the Sabin from the start, setting fractions of :23.52, :46.98 and 1:10.62 and never letting Sweet N Discreet, who rated in sixth, into the race. The 4-1 fourth-betting choice ran a mile in 1:34.80 with a two-length lead before drawing off by 3 ½ lengths with Castellano in the irons for the first time.
"I was surprised about (the new track record). She gave me a great performance today. The way she did it was very comfortable,” said Castellano, who rode four winners on Sunday’s card. “She was very relaxed in the first part of the race and I liked the way she finished. She gave me everything she had today. I was very impressed."
Sweet N Discreet, the 5-2 second choice ridden by Joe Bravo, closed to finish second, 2 ¼ lengths ahead of Triple Arch, a 27-1 longshot that stalked the pace during a wide trip under Orlando Bocachica. Favored Rose to Gold chased the early pace before fading to seventh in the field of eight fillies and mares.
Prior to finishing 1 ½ lengths behind Sweet N Discreet in the Sunshine Millions Distaff, Devil’s Cave captured the $100,000 Ocala Stakes on Dec. 29, running a mile in 1:34 3/5 while besting Sweet N Discreet by two lengths. Sunday, Devil’s Cave returned to that winning formula in the Sabind. “She’s got a high cruising speed. I don’t think Javier knew she was going that fast, but she’s fast,” Wolfson said. “She ran 1:09-and-change and 1:34 (in the Ocala). I didn’t look like she was going that fast, but she really does. She’s just a freaky type of filly for her pedigree.”
The Florida-bred daughter of Put It Back will get a much-deserved break before Wolfson looks for two-turn stakes opportunities.
“She’s run three times at the meet, so she’ll get a break,” Wolfson said. “She’ll go a mile-and-an-eighth. She should have one the last one at a mile-and-an-eighth. They ran 1:50. She’ll run 1:49. I’ll keep her around two turns or maybe a one-turn mile in New York.”