03/04/2017 4:55PM

Suffused impresses in The Very One

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Lauren King/Coglianese Photos
Jose Ortiz guides Suffused to a five-length win in The Very One.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Suffused, who fell a nose shy of becoming a Grade 1 winner last season, gave every indication that she’ll be a force to be reckoned with against the best of her division in 2017 by cruising to a five-length decision over Quiet Kitten and four other rivals in Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 The Very One at Gulfstream Park.

Under confident handling by Jose Ortiz, Suffused rated at the rear of the compact field for seven furlongs, advanced rapidly once leaving the backstretch, quickly caught and overtook Quiet Kitten turning for home and, after drawing off, won with speed in reserve.

Quiet Kitten prompted the early pace of Olorda, gained a short advantage on the second bend, proved no match for the winner, but held well enough to finish second, three parts of a length in front of Paige.

Olorda set a pressured pace, took up sharply near the inside shortly after relinquishing the lead on the second bend, quickly dropped to the rear of the field, and was eased to the wire far back by jockey Julien Leparoux.

Suffused, a homebred daughter of Champs Elysees, is owned by Juddmonte Farms Inc. and trained by Bill Mott. She paid $3.80.

“From where we started last year at this point, she steadily improved throughout the course of the year,” said Mott. “I was curious about the distance today because it was a huge cutback from a mile and a half. My rational is that I wanted to see how she would do at this trip because it gives us some options up the road. I liked to think she is good enough for a race like the Beverly D. or the Diana, one of those two. We'll just have to see."   

The victory was the third on the card and the second graded stakes win of the day for Ortiz, who has been Suffused’s regular rider since she became a stakes winner last June at Belmont Park.

“I expected her to be closer, but they were going a little faster than I expected, and she was comfortable where she was, so I just let her relax,” said Ortiz. “She really had a big turn of foot by the quarter pole when I put her in the clear and asked her to go.”