Fioretti wins Thoroughbred Club of America under Sophie Doyle
It marked the first graded stakes victory for both the 5-year-old daughter of Bernardini and jockey Sophie Doyle, and Fioretti earned a berth to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) in the “Win and You’re In” event.
“If everything goes right, yeah that would be the plan,” trainer Anthony Hamilton Jr. said of the Filly & Mare Sprint on October 31.
A former claimer, Fioretti recorded her first stakes tally in the listed Roxelana two starts previously at Churchill Downs and was exiting a close second in the August 8 Groupie Doll (G3) at Ellis Park, both at long odds.
She paid $36.40 to win as the sixth choice among eight contestants.
“We knew she was strong coming in, but this was a tall order,” Hamilton said.
“We had a perfect trip,” Doyle added. “Fioretti traveled beautifully throughout the race. I just waited until the quarter-pole, grabbed her up tight and sent her on. She did it lovely.”
Desert Valley set the pace while being closely tracked by 2-1 second choice Leigh Court, establishing splits in :22.40 and :45.56. Fioretti rated in fifth during the early stages before accelerating into contention nearing the conclusion of the far turn. She stormed to the front entering the straightaway and determinedly fought to the finish, stopping the teletimer in 1:10.04 on the track rated "muddy."
Heykittykittykitty, a 9-1 outsider, closed determinedly to be second, a half-length better than even-money choice Judy the Beauty, who stalked the pace along the inside before being given her cue entering the stretch.
Winner of last year’s Filly & Mare Sprint and the reigning female sprint champion, Judy the Beauty lacked the necessary finishing kick in the final furlongs and is now 0-for-3 in a disappointing 6-year-old campaign, but she’ll have the opportunity to make amends in the Filly & Mare Sprint.
Fioretti’s upset was a fitting conclusion in a division lacking a standout.
Spelling Again wound up fourth and was followed under the wire by Sweet Whiskey, Desert Valley, Brown Eyed Mary and Leigh Court.
Fioretti, who was bred in Kentucky by James G. Bell, has now earned $330,968 from a 22-5-7-1 career mark.
Photos of Fioretti & Sophie Doyle courtesy of Keeneland/Coady Photography