Undefeated Arrifana posts fourth straight win
Arrifana and jockey Julian Pimentel prevailed in a $55,000 allowance contest at Laurel Park. Photo by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.
It was the sternest test she’d faced, and it yielded the closest finish she’d yet experienced.
But Arrifana passed yet another test with flying colors this afternoon at Laurel Park with a win in a $55,000 allowance contest.
That means, trainer Kelly Rubley said afterwards, that the connections will start hunting something “a little bit bigger” than allowance company for Arrifana’s next start.
Arrifana, a three-year-old filly by Curlin, faced the toughest field she’d seen while also trying two turns for the first time. Neither deterred her, as she wore down early leader Tweeting to win by a half-length in 1:43.72 for 1 1/16 miles on a fast main track.
Bred by Gunpowder Farms LLC, which owns her in partnership with Millennium Farms, Gainesway Stable, and LNJ Foxwoods, Arrifana ran her record to four-for-four with today’s victory. None of her prior wins had been by less than two lengths.
“I thought this was a great spot to try the two turns, and it worked out well,” said Rubley, who said that she thought Arrifana would stretch out further.
Certainly, her breeding would suggest that: she’s out of the A. P. Indy mare Vaulcluse, who retired undefeated in three starts with a stakes win.
“Since she showed up as a two-year-old, she’s always been very classy,” said Rubley. “You could tell she was a lovely filly.”
She didn’t debut until this August, as a three-year-old, but she quickly made up for lost time, winning her initial race by 10 lengths while ridden out.
That win was impressive enough that Rubley took the filly up to Saratoga for her next start, in a $92,000 allowance race. She won that by a couple and then returned to win a second-level allowance at Laurel by five lengths as the 1-9 favorite. She went off at 1-5 today.
All four of her victories — including the one in Saratoga — have come with journeyman jockey Julian Pimentel in the irons.
“I think he’d follow her about everywhere,” Rubley said.
For Rubley, meanwhile, the late-blooming Arrifana continues what’s been a banner year. Early in the season, Alwaysmining ran off a string of victories en route to carrying Maryland’s hopes into the Preakness. Later, Divisidero won the Grade 3 Red Bank Stakes at Monmouth Park to give the trainer her second career graded victory.
Then came Iowa Derby winner Top Line Growth and Arrifana, and now Alwaysmining is back on the work tab after a freshening.
“it’s been a great year,” Rubley said. “Hopefully, we can finish up as strong as we started.”
LATEST RACING NEWS
Your five-minute read to catch up on all the Mid-Atlantic racing action you may have missed over the weekend…
Charles Town Races has received the go-ahead to host 60 days of live racing through April 2020, with the Charles Town Classic tentatively set for April 18.
B’s Wild Cork won her second straight stake Saturday at Charles Town, rallying from the rear to take the My Sister Pearl Stakes.
In a pair of juvenile stakes at Laurel Park, Cofactor and Newstome impressed, with the former winning her third straight.
There were robust nominations to Penn Natinoal’s Thanksgiving Eve stakes program, highlighted by the Fabulous Strike and Swatara.
The Maryland Jockey Club has announced several national stakes as automatic qualifiers for the Preakness and other May stakes at Pimlico.