Saturday, December 5, 2009 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . December 5, 2009 . . . Jockey Miguel Mena gave Exotic Bloom every chance to win the $50,000 My Charmer Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday and the mare took advantage, splitting horses in the last furlong and getting up to win by a neck.
"I hustled her coming out of the gate to put her in a position where there wouldn't be much [Polytrack] coming back at her, in case she didn't like it, but we were only about two lengths behind the leaders," said Mena, who was riding the mare for the first time. "At the three-eighths pole I knew I had a lot of horse, and I sent her away turning for home and she responded. I had a good trip, a clean trip. I never had to check."
Breaking from post five and second out of the gate, Exotic Bloom settled into fifth down the backstretch with Celtic Princess to her inside on the rail. Mena kept the winner closer to the lead than in recent starts, giving her a chance to run at the moderate :24.86 and :48.57 pace set by long shots Seniga and Zhou. Celtic Princess, a two-time Group I winner in Brazil making her first start in two years, took the lead in the stretch but couldn’t hold off the winner and finished second. Danzon, second-last through the first half-mile, made her usual strong closing move and briefly hooked up with Exotic Bloom as the latter bid for the lead but settled for third, a length behind the runner-up.
Finishing fourth through 11th were Seniga, Zhou, the 9-5 favorite Miss Lombardi, Coulee, Irish Ridge, Amie’s Legend, Alberta's Book, and Wellofaprize, who was eased.
Sent off as the 6-1 third choice, Exotic Bloom paid $14.80 to win and led an $18,093.80 Superfecta. She finished the 1 1/6-mile race in 1:44.31.
Though racing for the first time at Turfway, Exotic Bloom had 4 wins, 2 seconds, and 2 thirds in 10 starts on all-weather surfaces coming into the My Charmer. The My Charmer is her second stakes win; the other, the Windward Stakes at Presque Isle, also was run on an all-weather surface. She now has 6 wins, 2 seconds, and 3 thirds in 20 career starts and purse earnings of $254,856.
A five-year-old mare by Montbrook out of the Kris S. mare Melegant, Exotic Bloom is owned by Frederick Seitz and Harvey Clarke and trained by Seitz.
Racing continues at Turfway Sunday at 1:10pm.