12/03/2016 7:33PM

Babybluesbdancing turns back two stretch challengers in Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante

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Julio Felix guides Babybluesbdancing to victory in the Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante.

Babybluesbdancing, the only two-time winner in the race, put her seasoning to good use, staving off two late-running challengers to win the $50,000 Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante for Illinois-bred 2-year-old fillies by 1 1/4 lengths on Saturday at Hawthorne Race Course.

Babybluesbdancing stalked the pace from third racing three wide into the homestretch under Julio Felix and dug down to withstand late runs from 76-1 shot Spring City Gal, who rallied from far back to edge She’s Fine Tuned for second by a head. It was almost six lengths farther back to favored Jolee.

Felix, who is having an excellent Hawthorne meet, gave Babybluesbdancing an excellent positional trip, waiting in the clear as Pure Blarney, pursued by Nequa, went her first quarter-mile in 24.04 seconds and a half-mile in 48.46. Babybluesbdancing went on the attack before the quarter pole, seized the lead at the top of the stretch, and continued on resolutely to hold her rivals clear. She ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:47.14 and paid $9.60 to win.

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Veteran Chicago-area horseman Terrel Gore trains Babybluesbdancing for Lizbeth Gore. A daughter of Sky Mesa and the Golden Gear mare Bluesbdancing, Babybluesbdancing was bred by RNB Racing. Babybluesbdancing ran well losing her first three starts, cleared the maiden ranks near the end of the Arlington meeting on Polytrack, and then won a first-level allowance on Oct. 13 at Hawthorne. Gore ably brought her into her two-turn debut, and the filly took care of the rest.