Updated on 09/17/2011 10:32AM

Wild Spirit steals Shuvee spotlight


ELMONT, N.Y. - It wasn't a surprise that a Bobby Frankel-trained filly won Saturday's $200,000 at Belmont Park. The bettors just didn't expect it to be Wild Spirit, a 3 1/2-length winner over Smok'n Frolic.

Wild Spirit, who was 10-1 in her United States debut, ran as an uncoupled entry with stablemate You, the 7-5 favorite in the Grade 2 Shuvee. You, the 120-pound highweight, finished third, 1 1/4 lengths behind Smok'n Frolic. Princess Dixie, Nonsuch Bay, and Raging Fever completed the order of finish in the one-mile Shuvee.

You, under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan, bounced straight to the lead and set fractions of 22.92 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 45.43 for the half-mile. Smok'n Frolic engaged You around the far turn and those two entered the stretch as a team. Wild Spirit, who had saved ground under Javier Castellano, swung out and barreled to the lead in midstretch.

Wild Spirit ($22.40) covered the distance over a fast track in 1:34.51.

"I had a lot of filly," Castellano said. "I've been on her in the mornings and she works really well."

Wild Spirit, who defeated males in a Group 1 in Chile last year, is owned by Sumaya Us Stable. Wild Spirit was saddled by Frankel's assistant, Jose Cuevas.

Cuevas said when Wild Spirit came to this country earlier this year, word had it that the 4-year-old filly was even better than Lido Palace, a South American import who became a Grade 1 winner for Frankel.

"We didn't believe it; we said she had to prove it in America first," Cuevas said. "I really thought she was going to run big and she did."

Bridgmohan offered no excuses for You. "She broke really sharp and she ran hard the whole way around," Bridgmohan said.

* Jockey John Velazquez and trainer Todd Pletcher teamed up to win three races on Saturday's card: Savoy Special ($3) in the fourth, Bishop Court Hill ($10.80) in the sixth, and Lismore Knight ($3.40) in the seventh.