My Happy Face takes the G3 Tempted S.
My Happy Face had a photo finish go her way in the $150,000 Tempted S. (G3) Sunday at Aqueduct, as the 2-year-old Tiz Wonderful filly outlasted Cue the Moon, by Spendthrift stallion Malibu Moon, to prevail by a neck as the odds-on favorite.
Leaving from the inside post, My Happy Face and Cue the Moon were virtually inseparable for the entire trip. There was never more than a length between them, and at the quarter pole it looked as if Cue the Moon would get the better of the test, but My Happy Face battled back along the inside to post her first graded stakes score. The winner completed one mile in 1:36.32.
“I knew the other filly who finished second (Cue the Moon) was a very nice filly; she won first time out,” said winning jockey Ramon Dominguez, who had ridden Cue the Moon in her lone previous outing. “Our filly was extremely fast out of the gate. She didn’t get any breather today, but, being on the inside when the other filly went to press me, I really had no choice. It was a pretty good battle turning for home. The other filly didn’t give up and neither did mine.”
My Happy Face had lost a heart-wrenching contest in the Grade 1 Frizette S. last month. Following the Frizette, owner Michael Dubb and trainer Rudy Rodriguez contemplated sending My Happy Face to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies on November 2 at Santa Anita before deciding to leave her in New York for the Tempted.
“She’s very aggressive, very game, and she takes care of herself,” said Rodriguez. “We’re just going to enjoy this one, and hopefully she’ll keep improving. We’ll talk to Michael Dubb and see what he wants to do, but she’s a game filly. We were thinking about going to California (for the Breeders’ Cup), but I think we did the right thing by staying here, because they ran very, very big over there.”
My Happy Face, who broke her maiden by 21 ¼ lengths on August 31 at Saratoga, is 2-2-0 in four career starts and has earned $234,000, including $90,000 for her Tempted triumph. Spendthrift bred My Happy Face in partnership with Shawan Place. The Kentucky-bred filly is out of the stakes-winning mare Summer Star.
Cue the Moon, a debut winner at Saratoga who was making just her second career start for trainer Jim Bond, was second by better than six lengths over Ruby Lips. A $310,000 Keeneland buy as a yearling during the 2011 September sale, the bay filly is out of the winning Tabasco Cat mare Red Hot Bertie.
Tiz Wonderful ranks seventh on the first-crop sire list with $494,745 in progeny earnings.