Onlyforyou stays perfect in $200,000 Forward Gal (G2)
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – It was all about the number three in Saturday’s $200,000 Forward Gal (G2) at Gulfstream Park.
Breaking from post three in her third lifetime start, Onlyforyou led all the way to run her record to 3-0 with a professional 2 ¾-length victory over Aurelia’s Belle in the 37th renewal of the 3-year-old filly stakes.
It was also the third consecutive victory in the Forward Gal for trainer Todd Pletcher, who won in 2013 with Kauai Katie and 2012 with Broadway’s Alibi.
“It kind of speaks for itself,” said Pletcher, who only minutes earlier watched Teen Pauline win the Ladies Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack. “Anytime you have one win three in a row to start their career, it’s not very many of them that do that.
“She’s a filly that has always impressed us in her training. She’s a beautiful filly, a big, scopey, good-looking filly that has tactical speed. It’s been a pretty straightforward introduction so far.”
Owned by Glencrest Farm, Onlyforyou went straight for the lead under jockey Javier Castellano after breaking sharply from the gate. She led through a quarter-mile in 22.65 seconds, a half in 45.33 and six furlongs in 1:09.77, with Aurelia’s Belle her closest pursuer.
Turning for home, Onlyforyou drew away from the field under little urging from Castellano as Aurelia’s Belle continued to give chase. Resistivity, who broke a step slow from the rail, came on for third, another three lengths back.
“I didn’t expect her to be on the lead, but she was so sharp today,” Castellano said. “She did it so easy and broke on top. The way she did it was impressive. When the other horse [Aurelia’s Belle] came to her, she took off again. I liked the way she did it today.”
Onlyforyou paid $2.60 as the 1-5 favorite in a field of six, running seven furlongs in 1:22.50.
“Javier and I talked about letting her run her race and just play it by ear,” Pletcher said. “We thought we’d probably be stalking the one [Resistivity], but when the one didn’t get away as cleanly as we did, I wasn’t afraid for her to be where she was. The fractions were solid, but she looked like she was in control. I was hoping they wouldn’t go any faster than they were going, but it looked like she was doing it within herself.”
Pletcher mentioned the 1 1/16-mile Davona Dale (G2) on Feb. 22 at Gulfstream as a next possible start for Onlyforyou.
“We’ll have to see how we feel about that,” Pletcher said. “She’s trained like she’ll run further. She was able to relax a little bit in her first two starts, so she’s not one-dimensional even though she won on the lead today. That’s pretty much it on the calendar here for sprints, so if we’re going to run back at Gulfstream we’re going to have to stretch her out.”