12/01/2012 6:40PM

Hawthorne: Debutante surface change not a problem for My Option

Four Footed Fotos
My Option proved she can handle a dirt surface with a sharp win in the Witworth Debutante.

STICKNEY, Ill. – Provided she could handle dirt, My Option’s synthetic and turf performances gave her the look of a likely winner in the Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante Stakes on Saturday at Hawthorne. She did, and she was. My Option ran away with the $116,525 Whitworth, drawing clear in the stretch to win the main-track route race for Illinois-bred 2-year-old fillies by 4 1/2 lengths under Eddie Perez.

My Option had finished a close second debuting in a Polytrack sprint at Arlington before comfortably winning an open turf-route maiden race Oct. 25 at Hawthorne. Her trainer, Chris Block, felt My Option had trained well enough on dirt since her maiden win, and she had no trouble getting over the surface on Saturday.

“My biggest concern, and Eddie’s biggest concern, was how she’d settle,” Block said. “She was pretty aggressive early, and I was a little worried going into the far turn because of that.”

Indeed, My Option tugged hard on the reins in the first half of the Whitworth, nearly running up onto heels turning onto the backstretch as Perez held her just behind pacesetters Huntgoddess and Julmae. But Block need not have worried about how much My Option had left. Perez wheeled her off the inside after straightening for home and My Option drew steadily away after collaring C’mon Feet in midstretch, stopping the timer in 1:48.75 for 1 1/16 miles on a fast track. The even-money favorite, she paid $4 to win.

My Option, bred and owned by Tim Keeley, was produced by a mating of a Belong to Me with the Cohiba mare Out of Options. While the filly performed admirably on dirt, Block believes her long-term future will be in grass racing, and given her performance Saturday, My Option figures to be a significant player in the Illinois-bred turf-female division – perhaps for years to come – if her trainer is correct.