FLORENCE, Ky., Sept. 24, 2011 – After coming close in her three previous races, Charming Vixen picked the perfect time to break her maiden, getting the best of a frontrunners' duel to win the $100,000 Tiznow Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies Stakes Saturday at Turfway Park.
Charming Vixen set the first quarter in :24.12 before allowing Best of Times to take over and sitting just a head behind that leader through a half in :48.30 and six furlongs in 1:14.10. When Best of Times began to give way coming into the stretch, Charming Vixen was ready to retake the lead and was clear by 3 1/2 lengths at the wire. Heated Debate came from mid-pack to finish second, 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Spring Eclipse, who also came from off the pace.
"I've never had to work so hard to be quiet during a race," said winning trainer Tom Amoss, who was on hand not only as the filly's trainer but also as part of the TVG team that broadcast the day's races live from Turfway. "Calvin Borel has a great pair of hands, and I thought it took him a full quarter of a mile to get her to relax. From there, it was just a question of whether she would get the distance. This is awesome."
"Tom was pretty high on her," Borel said. "He called me this morning and told me just to get her to relax, which she did. She overcame being caught a little wide. I just sat chilly on her and she took off turning for home. She was very impressive."
Charming Vixen finished the mile in 1:40.77 over the Turfway Polytrack. She paid $8.40, $5.40, and $3.40 as the 3-1 third choice.
Best of Times finished fourth, followed by Courtly Flyer, Rusticana, Little Sadie, Queen Anna, and the 9-5 favorite Rainbow Blossom, who misbehaved in the gate enough to delay the start of the race. Flashy Lassie and Tavern on the Bay both were early scratches. Victorian Diva was scratched on the advice of State Veterinarian Will Farmer after she flipped in the paddock and appeared to strike her head on the rubber pavers. Farmer reported later that her injuries did not appear to be life threatening.
The Tiznow Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies was Charming Vixen’s fourth career start. In addition to the win, she has two seconds and one third for owner Gold Mark Farm LLC and has earned $82,410. The 2-year-old filly is by Bernstein out of Sadler's Charm, by Honour and Glory, and was bred in Kentucky by Joseph La Combe Stables Inc.