The Elkstone Group’s Too Sexy rallied strongly down the lane to make her stakes debut a winning one in Sunday’s $150,000 Floral Park, a six-furlong inner turf sprint for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up, at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.
Trained by Christophe Clement, the 4-year-old Quality Road bay entered from a similar closing effort in a six-furlong optional-claiming tilt on September 25 over a Belmont turf rated good.
Honey Cake, with Junior Alvarado up, took charge through splits of :22.57 and :46.22 over the firm going with 3-2 mutuel favorite Robin Sparkles, piloted by Jose Ortiz, tracking her early foot from second position.
The pacesetter led the field through the turn as a host of challengers, including the stalking duo of Introduced and Raven’s Cry lined up outside bids with Gogo Shoes advancing up the rail.
But despite having only Secure Connection behind her as the field straightened for home, there would be no denying Too Sexy, who was tipped out wide into the lane and picked off her rivals one by one with a powerful turn-of-foot en route to a 3 1/4-length victory in a final time of 1:09.68.
Raven’s Cry completed the exacta by one length over Introduced. Rounding out the order of finish were Secure Connection, Pacific Gale, Gogo Shoes, Honey Cake, and Robin Sparkles. Time Limit was scratched.
Too Sexy’s victory came shortly before the Clement-trained duo of Mutamakina and La Dragontea ran one-two in the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario.
Clement said a patient approach works best with Too Sexy, who has won 4-of-7 starts this season, including a maiden score over good turf at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., in March and an allowance win at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in July.
“She has been an improving horse all along,” Clement said. “She seems to run better when you wait a little bit on her and twice she has won on ground with a little bit of give in it.”
Lezcano said he felt confident the speed would come back to him.
“I rode her like how Christophe told me, which was to break well, give her a chance to find her footing and make one run. Everything worked out,” Lezcano said.
Luis Saez, jockey aboard the runner-up, said Raven’s Cry benefitted from the turnback in distance out of a fifth-place finish in the one-mile De La Rose in August at the Spa.
“She broke right there and was in a perfect spot. We just got beat by a good one,” Saez said. “I think cutting back made a difference, it was good for her.”
Bred in Kentucky by Burleson Farm and McKenzie Bloodstock, Too Sexy banked $82,500 in victory while improving her record to 12-4-4-1. She paid $7.90 for a $2 win wager.
Live racing returns Thursday at Belmont Park with a nine-race card. First post is 12:35 p.m. Eastern.