Updated on 09/16/2011 8:42AM

Patience is Nonsuch Bay's game


ELMONT, N.Y. - The early pace in last month's Acorn Mile for 3-year-old fillies - 22.20 seconds for the quarter, 44.50 for the half-mile - was much too fast, and Nonsuch Bay, who was up close, tired to finish a well-beaten fourth.

Trainer Frank Alexander wanted different tactics for Saturday's $250,000 Mother Goose at nine furlongs. He enlisted the aid of Jerry Bailey, got the waiting ride he sought, and the fast-closing Nonsuch Bay won by 1 1/2 lengths over the 6-5 favorite, Chamrousse.

The 3-year-old filly division has been unable to sustain leadership. Take Charge Lady took charge early but then went to the sidelines. You and Bella Bellucci had their moments. Dust Me Off and Belterra were perceived threats. Farda Amiga had the headlines by winning the Kentucky Oaks, and there were others who seemed to have the right stuff.

There is a lot of opportunity ahead for all of these fillies to make a name for themselves, and Nonsuch Bay, on the basis of the Mother Goose, may have as good a chance as any. She has already demonstrated an ability to achieve.

She came out of the Ocala sale of 2-year-olds in training for a modest $75,000 and is approaching $400,000 in earnings. An attractive daughter of Mr. Greeley, Nonsuch Bay has won 4 of 7 starts with a second and a third. A pleasant disposition makes it easy to place her in a race and she has been a joy for owner Joseph Platt Jr. of Pittsburgh, a retired insurance executive.

Platt has been in racing only a couple of years but is assembling a strong stable. In addition to the improving Nonsuch Bay he also owns the stakes-winning Chilean import, Babae.

Nonsuch Bay is expected to make her next start in Saratoga's Alabama Stakes at 1 1/4 miles on Aug. 17. Alexander prefers to pass the $350,000 Coaching Club American Oaks on July 20 because of the distance.

Bailey rode another impressive winner on Saturday's card when the 1-2 favorite, Zavata, stormed to a 6 1/4-length victory in the $106,600 Tremont Stakes for 2-year-olds at 5 1/2 furlongs.

Zavata, a $575,000 purchase out of the Fasig-Tipton February sale of 2-year-olds, finished second in his debut at Churchill Downs on Derby Day in the Three Chimneys Stakes. Trainer Patrick Biancone attributes the loss solely to inexperience. Zavata finished second to Holiday Runner, beaten a length after racing wide throughout. Zavata proved the point three weeks later at Belmont Park, winning a maiden race by 5 1/2 lengths.

Zavata's progress was obvious in the Tremont. He raced wide on the turn again but was more professional in the drive and widened under a hand ride. His time of 1:02.60 was only a fifth off More Than Ready's track record.

"This is a good horse," Biancone said. "He can be rated and he has ability. His next start will probably be in the Saratoga Special on Aug. 14."

Owned by Michael Tabor, whose Thunder Gulch won the Kentucky Derby of 1955, Zavata is named for the greatest clown of the French circus. Tabor is also the owner of Mayakovsky, a top 2-year-old of last year. Mayakovsky, who hasn't started since the Santa Anita Derby in early April, is training well at Saratoga for Biancone who will point him for the Amsterdam and King's Bishop Stakes at the Spa.