Applauding, currently the fastest 2-year-old filly stabled at Fair Grounds, showed Friday she can run as well on dirt as on Polytrack. Daily Racing Form reports her next hurdle will be distance, with Applauding scheduled to stretch out after two six-furlong races to begin her career in the 1 1/16-mile Silverbulletday Stakes on Jan. 21.
Applauding burst on to the scene with a dazzling win in Kentucky before another scintillating effort in neighbouring Louisiana as USA-based Australian bloodstock agent Neil Bowden explained.
”Having previously broken her maiden at Keeneland by nine lengths on the Polytrack, Applauding was equally impressive winning by six lengths on the dirt over six furlong this time,” he said. ”This filly looks to be another Graded stakes-class filly her young sire Congrats.”
Applauding set a six-furlong synthetic-surface track record when she won her career debut by nine lengths Oct. 14 at Keeneland, and she was equally dominant in Friday’s sixth race, making an early lead from the rail, racing her opening half-mile in less than 45 seconds, and going on to a six-length victory under Shane Sellers while ridden out to the wire. Applauding’s Beyer Speed Figure of 91 neatly lined up with the 92 she earned in her debut.
“Shane said she reminds him of the really good horses he used to ride,” said Al Stall, who trains Applauding for Ramona Bass.
Applauding, a flashy chestnut, possesses a relaxed disposition and doesn’t have a body type that would work totally against route racing.
Her sire, Congrats, was a route horse, but many of his offspring – such as top female sprinter Turbulent Descent – seem more comfortable racing around one turn. Applauding, who cost $370,000 at a 2-year-old in training sale, is out of a Forestry mare named Andria’s Forest. The dam has one other foal to race, a full sister to Applauding named Starship Warpspeed. That horse actually just won her maiden Sept. 30 at Belmont, and while she required a class drop into a $40,000 maiden-claimer to do so, Starship Warpspeed scored by a remarkable 26 3/4 lengths in a seven-furlong race.
Stall said Saturday morning that Applauding had emerged from her win in good condition. Training in coming weeks will focus on imparting stamina.
“We have time now to stretch her a little bit with longer gallops,” said Stall, who enters this week as leading trainer at the meet, with 8 winners from 19 starts.