09/20/2012 2:10PM

Belmont: Awesome Feather boosts Breeders' Cup stock with blowout win in Nasty Storm

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Awesome Feather, under Jeffrey Sanchez, coasts to an easy in the Nasty Storm Stakes, her first race since January.

ELMONT, N.Y. – It’s not that Awesome Feather won Thursday’s $85,000 Nasty Storm Stakes at Belmont Park that was surprising. It was the way she did it that had jaws dropping.

In her first start since January, Awesome Feather rolled to an 11 1/4-length victory in the Nasty Storm, running a mile in 1:33.47 over a Belmont main track that was playing fast.

Still, jockey Jeffrey Sanchez was far from all out on Awesome Feather, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2010 who remained undefeated in 10 starts.

“You never can predict something like that, but her weight and her coat were tremendous,” trainer Chad Brown said. “She’s been very, very strong in her works and her gallops up in Saratoga. Six weeks out from the Breeders’ Cup, I think she needed a race, so I’m not at all upset with winning by that many and having a strong final time. I think she needed the race and we got the race we needed.”

Awesome Feather, in her first start since Jan. 28, when she won the Sunshine Millions Distaff at Gulfstream, broke on top, but then settled into third position. Awesome Feather was about three lengths behind Daddy’s Honor, who ran a quarter in 22.63 seconds and a half-mile in 44.96 while being chased by All Due Respect.

Midway around the far turn, Awesome Feather made a three-wide move and struck the front at the five-sixteenths pole. She got to the quarter pole two in front after running six furlongs in 1:08.60. From there it was just a matter of how many lengths she would win by and the final time. Sanchez simply flashed the whip at Awesome Feather while giving her a strong hand ride to the wire. All Due Respect finished second.

“She’s much better, she’s more relaxed today,” Sanchez said. “Down the backside when I push her. She [went] much better than the last time.”

Brown said he was a little concerned watching the early part of the race because Awesome Feather didn’t appear that eager.

“We’ve gotten her to relax in the mornings – which has worked – but then in a race you’d love to see her dying to get by the horses,” Brown said. “I thought the first three-eighths she wasn’t in a hurry to go by them, but at the quarter pole when she made her move I was focusing on the competition and it looked like they were going backwards.

“I thought her stride looked good and she was really stretching out and really moving as well as I’d ever seen her move.”

Brown said that the Nasty Storm was designed to get Awesome Feather to the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 2, when she would presumably face the likes of Questing, the leading 3-year-old filly, and Royal Delta, last year’s Ladies’ Classic winner and 3-year-old filly champion.

“Let’s keep our fingers crossed that this great filly comes out of the race and everyone gets to see the showdown they want to see at Santa Anita,” Brown said.

Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
OK, here it is. I hate to crush dreams.... Its Tricky wins the Ladies Classic Questing wins the CLASSIC
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
Shes a special horse but when will she race a hard field?
Cougar Paisley More than 1 year ago
With no real standout this year, yet, for Horse of the Year honors, why not? Following in the footsteps of her last three female companions, she could be just as deserving as any other possibility this year. We have had so many defections this year due to injuries and retirements, that maybe last man standing (or filly) should win it. Could you ever imagine four years in a row, that a female secured the best horse in North America honors. My Miss Auriela, Questing, Royal Delta, Lady Shamrock, Spring Venture and Awesome Feather. Girl Power rules !!
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
There is a clear stand-out this year. His name is I'll Have Another, the Derby and Preakness winner. The Derby is the race that everybody dreams of winning, and to come back and validate it in the Preakness is magical. If a filly were to win the Ladies' Classic on Friday, and then come right back the next day to win the Classic, she might not even have done enough in the minds of the voters to trump the resume of the Derby and Preakness winner. A big percentage of those who hold a vote in the Eclipse Awards are not fully on board with the Breeders' Cup program. In 3 of the past 4 years, the American Horse of The Year did not win a Breeders' Cup race - one of them did not even participate, and one of them finished out of the money. Most trainers and owners would trade 10 Breeders Cup races for one Derby.
Maynard More than 1 year ago
There is a clear standout this year. His name is Alpha at least I will go out on a limb, outside the part I am sawing, and say he will win the Classic. Furthermore, horses ain't "girls" or "boys." If you want real female power, you should remember the female hyena rules the roost. She's bigger, stronger and more dominant than the male hyena. Hyena power!
jonathan yarde More than 1 year ago
Lest we forget, there's a pretty impressive 3-y-o filly running for $1 million at Parx tomorrow. Will agree that this was impressive considering the long layoff, but who did she beat?
rob More than 1 year ago
i don't really think it's who she beat, it's how she did it..blazing early fractions and finishing strong with a time of 1:33.2 ..that's the impressive part
jonathan yarde More than 1 year ago
Not knocking the filly, I picked her to win the BC Juvenile Fillies. Just tempering your high expectations a bit. The feeling I get from these posts is that it's a forgone conclusion that if entered for the Distaff she is clearly the best and unbeatable.
[removed] More than 1 year ago
This comment has been deleted
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
I guess you didn't see Questing's last? She runs times way faster than the males. That may be part of the reason I believe you'll see her in the CLASSIC, not ladies Classic.
Clark Dougherty More than 1 year ago
This remarkable filly has not been tested yet. True, she didn't see solid GI company in a prep before the Gazelle last year and in yesterday's "public workout," but she hasn't been asked to find the bottom of the tank yet either. And it's hard to fault an undefeated filly with multiple GI's to her credit, and an Eclipse award sitting in the breeder/former owner's trophy case. Kudos to Chad Brown for having both the savvy to recognize a brilliant runner and the patience to protect her from harm when she wasn't 100% ready. About 2 minutes to post time, I texted my friend to say, "Time to watch the "Flying Feather." She is a champion, and barring any issues from yesterday's facile performance which has to be a 110+ Beyers, Feather should be a daylight winner on 11/2 in the BC Ladies Classic, no matter who shows up to challenge. Feather isn't just Awesome, she is Fantastic (and getting better!)
Maynard More than 1 year ago
A filly is not remarkable if she isn't tested yet.
adrian More than 1 year ago
did you see the fractions she chilled behind 22 and then 44 i mean there wasnt a lot of to get between but shes capabile. As a matter of fact I already believe the DOUBLE WILL BE AWESOME FEATHER B.C LADIES RON THE GREEK B.C. CHAMPIONSHIO BOOK IT EARLY both east coasters we have dirt in cali be ready here they come santa anita 20 minutes from me east coast coming
Jordan More than 1 year ago
It is really interesting how many divisions are top heavy with Easern horses. On paper, the Eastern horses should dominate at the BC, with a few turf races going to Euros and the Sprints going to the home team.
avlamal More than 1 year ago
2 turns not enough race fitness will catch up i promise you this horse is not ready
Stephanie's Stable More than 1 year ago
Not one horse at the Bc will ever see her front end.....she will beat any horse that shows up
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
I hope someone was logged into your account and posted that because you are delirious.
Maynard More than 1 year ago
The horses may not see her front end, but the jockeys will win they look back.
ctgreyhound More than 1 year ago
We are going to have a race on our hands in the Ladies Classic. What a lineup! Let's hope Awesome Feather puts on a show there too.