11/04/2010 8:21AM

Justenufappeal pricey proposition in Golden Gate Debutante


If her debut was any indication, Justenufappeal has a good chance to live up to the expectations trainer Steve Specht had when he bought her for $150,000 at the 2009 Keeneland September yearling sale.

“She cost the most at a sale of any horse I ever had,” Specht said.

Justenufappeal won her debut here on Oct. 2, sitting off the pace and rallying four wide on the turn to win a 5 1/2-furlong Tapeta maiden race by a half-length. Specht is running her back Saturday in an ambitious spot – the $50,000 Golden Gate Debutante at Golden Gate Fields.

“I wouldn’t normally have gone in a stakes race in her second start, but when you look at the field, it’s really a nonwinners-of-one allowance race,” said Specht. “If I had sat back and waited for an allowance race, I probably would have met all of these except the winner.”

Justenufappeal’s five rivals in the six-furlong Tapeta race for 2-year-old fillies have a combined 14 starts, and none has finished off the board.

Congress Woman Ivy, who drew the rail, is undefeated, with a maiden claiming victory and starter allowance win. Cathy’s Crunches has a starter allowance victory and has hit the board in her last two starts. Alec’s Moon has a win and two seconds in her career.

Melissa Rose began her career with two thirds before winning her last start and beating Lucy Wiggles.

Although a maiden, Lucy Wiggles is the only stakes-placed runner in the field. She ran third in the Barretts Debutante in her debut. Trainer Bruce Dillenbeck says he may scratch her from this race.

Although she has run only one race, Justenufappeal looks worth her price.

A Florida-bred daughter of the Grade 2 winner Exchange Rate, Justenufappeal is out of the productive World Appeal mare Hasty Appeal, who has seen all nine of her foals win. Among them are the stakes winner Kelly Leak, who has earned $742,810; the Grade 3 winner Dr. Park; Zounds and Fit Faze, who both earned over $200,000; and the graded-stakes-placed Privilaged.

Frank Alvarado rode Justenufappeal in her debut and will be aboard again Saturday.

Specht said Justenufappeal wanted to go too fast when she first started training, but has learned to rate.

“She takes everything in stride,” Specht said. “She comes back to the barn and settles down.

“She’s a hard-trying little filly. She’s had enough time since her first race, and she’s worked well. She gives you what she’s got. Hopefully, that’s enough here.”