Wonder Gal put on a spectacular show in her debut Sunday at Belmont Park, in the $125,000 Lynbrook S. no less, winning by 14 1/2-lengths with her jockey Taylor Rice sitting motionless during her powerhouse stretch run. The auspicious debut earned her the TDN "Rising Star" status.
The 2-year-old filly is the fifth stakes winner this year for Tiz Wonderful, who is in the top five on both the Third Crop and Juvenile Sire lists.
After breaking last in the field of five fillies, Wonder Gal cruised along some eight lengths off the lead after a quarter mile. Midway on the turn, she suddenly quickened, and within a furlong she had pulled even with Saluda, the early leader.
Rice had only to guide the dark bay filly in the right direction down the stretch as she rocketed away from her stunned foes, coasting home an overwhelming winner in 1:11.14 on the fast track.
"I had been on her a few times in the morning, so I was hoping an effort like this was coming, but you never really know," said winning jockey Taylor Rice. "She's a big mare, so I just wanted to let her break and settle. I think she'll definitely be better going longer."
Wonder Gal picked up $75,000 for the victory and could target some of the prestigious summer 2-year-old stakes at the upcoming Saratoga meet. She is trained by Leah Gyarmati for Jeff Treadway's Treadway Racing Stable, who obtained the the filly for $210,000 out of the OBS March Sale of 2-year-olds.
"There haven't been many maiden races for New York-bred fillies," said Gyarmati. "We hope she lives up to our expectations. She's young, still. She's big, but she's still young. You have to keep that in mind. There are bound to be some bumps along the way."
Wonder Gal is the first foal out of the unraced Dixie Union mare Passe, and was bred in New York by Apache Farm LLC. Passe is a half-sister to multiple graded stakes winner Social Queen and hails from the same family as $4.7 million earner Perfect Drift.