Saturday, December 20, 2008 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . December 20, 2008 . . . Step Out Smartly stepped up from maiden winner to stakes winner at Turfway Park Saturday, coming from far back to take the $50,000 Gowell Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths. Lady's Laughter led into the stretch and stayed in for second, three lengths ahead of 2-1 favorite Emma Darling, who stumbled out of the gate.
Queen of Victory took the lead from Karacuda shortly after the break and set fractions of :22.11 and :45.74 under pressure from Lady's Laughter to her outside. As Lady's Laughter took over coming into the stretch, Step Out Smartly was second to last, but jockey Bill Troilo had her on the move and she swept past effortlessly in the middle of the track to get up in the final few strides.
Jack Bohannon, assistant to trainer George "Rusty" Arnold, commented on the jump from maiden win to stakes company: "She ran pretty impressively at Churchill and broke her maiden by 5 (lengths). She’s on her way to Florida, but we thought we'd stay and take a shot at this stake. She trains at Keeneland, so we didn't have any questions about the Polytrack. She trains on it and trains well."
Step Out Smartly led nearly all the way in her maiden win over a muddy, sealed track at Churchill Downs last month, but the filly's versatility allowed Troilo to call an audible in the Gowell. "They were going fast, so Billy decided to wait and let them get tired and then make a run," said Bohannan.
Final time for the six-furlong Gowell was 1:11.70. The 3-1 second choice in the field of nine two-year-old fillies, Step Out Smartly paid $8.20, $5.60, and $3.60.
Completing the order of finish were Chapolte, Janou, Saxxy Rose Lee, Karacuda, Queen of Victory, and Southern Sweet Tea. Satans Quick Chick and Trust N Seven were late scratches.
By Came Home out of the Capote mare Fashion Planner, Step Out Smartly now has two wins from three career starts and has earned $56,176 for owner G. W. Humphrey Jr.
With expected strong winds and frigid temperatures forcing cancellation of Sunday’s card, racing will resume Friday, December 26, after the traditional Christmas break. Post time December 26 through December 31, including Monday and Tuesday, is 1:10pm.