02/18/2010 12:00AM

Devil May Care gets year going


NEW ORLEANS - It was the deepest of waters in which Devil May Care ran the only bad race of her three-race career, as she never fired in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies last November at Santa Anita.

She will face a smaller and less-talented group of fillies when she comes off a three-month layoff and begins her 3-year-old campaign in Saturday's Grade 3 Silverbulletday, going 1 1/16 miles over the Fair Grounds main track.

Devil May Care never really got going in the Breeders' Cup, finishing 11th, beaten more than nine lengths.

She had a troubled trip, but trainer Todd Pletcher believes it was her aversion to the surface that explained her trouble.

"She hated the synthetic track," said Pletcher.

Devil May Care began her career with a 4 3/4-length maiden win at Saratoga. She became a Grade 1 winner in her second start, holding on to win the Frizette by a head at Belmont Park. After relaxing in the early going, Devil May Care made a good move at the top of the stretch to take the lead, then dug in gamely to hold off the sustained bid of Awesome Maria.

With the move back to dirt, and the benefit of being freshened, Pletcher is expecting a good race from Devil May Care, who has been based in south Florida this winter.

"She's training extremely well," he said.

The rest of the seven-horse field have shown themselves worthy of running in the Silverbulletday.

Jody Slew surprised most people, including her connections, as she scored a half-length victory at 23-1 in the local prep for the Silverbulletday, the Jan. 23 Tiffany Lass.

"We decided to put her in the Tiffany Lass because she needed a race, and to answer the dirt question," said trainer Bret Calhoun. "It was one of those races where everything fell into place for us, as we got away bad, which turned out to be lucky with the hot pace."

Though Calhoun was pleasantly surprised with Jody Slew's effort, he likes the way she has been improving, and hopes she will again relax and then finish well.

"She's very sharp right now, getting better - bigger and stronger, said Calhoun. "It scares me that she is getting too sharp, because I'd like to get her to run from off the pace again."

Among the horses Jody Slew surprised in the Tiffany Lass was odds-on favorite Quiet Temper, who rated in third and then never made a move, finishing fifth, beaten eight lengths. It was an unexpected flop from Quiet Temper, who had won her two previous starts, including the Grade 3 Delta Princess, a race in which she stalked the pace, then pulled away to win by more than seven lengths.