Born Dapper scores in off-the-turf Selima

Two-year-old Born Dapper has experienced a lot in her brief racing career. In just five starts, she’s raced at four different tracks and on turf, dirt, and synthetic.

Now you can call her a stakes winner.

With the $150,000 Selima Stakes taken off the turf today at Laurel Park, Born Dapper was the most prominent beneficiary. Under a confident ride by jockey Jevian Toledo, she stalked the pace, eased out nearing the lane, and drew away to win by 3 ¼ lengths in 1:42.19 for a one-turn mile on a sloppy, sealed main track.

“In the beginning I put her in behind horses, and she relaxed beautiful,” said winning rider Jevian Toledo. “When she break she was in the bridle, but then she relaxed nice and when I took her to the clear she just took off.”

It was Born Dapper’s second consecutive win and first in stakes company. She’s now earned $140,468.

Trainer Jonathan Thomas had entered a pair of horses in the Selima. Both Born Dapper and morning line favorite Delight (3-1) are owned by Augustin Stable, with the former a homebred. But Thomas said afterwards he was unlikely to run both no matter the circumstance.

“Even though we didn’t have her [main track only], the thought process was that if it rained like this, we’d leave her in and scratch the other horse and probably vice versa if it had stayed on,” Thomas explained.

Delight wasn’t the only runner to scratch as a result of the surface switch. Also scratched were turf winners Lifelovenlaughter and Private Credit.

When the gates opened, Anotherdaygoneby, two races removed from breaking her maiden on the dirt at Timonium and with bug rider Jeiron Barbosa in the irons, was quickest away to establish the front. She led by a length through an opener in 25.03 seconds and a length-and-a-half after a half in 49.61.

Born Dapper, meanwhile, was down along the rail, one of three horses just behind the leader. Rounding the turn, the others began to fall away, and Toledo was able to ease his mount to the two path to take clear aim at the leader.

Born Dapper
Born Dapper won the Selima Stakes. Photo by Jim McCue.

“I see someone that wanted to go so I let them go and sat right behind them,” Toledo said. “She relaxed beautiful, and before the quarter pole I just put her in the clear and she took right off.”

“Jevian is such a great rider,” Thomas said. “He saved ground where he could, he bided his time. He came into the lane with a lot of confidence, and you could see the filly kind of soaked that up, too.”

Anotherdaygoneby held second, 2 ¾ lengths ahead of show horse Lady Azteca. Post-time favorite What an Honor was briefly up close but faded to finish sixth, 13 lengths behind the winner.

Born Dapper paid $8.20 to win as the 3-1 second choice in the field of eight. The exacta returned $28.80 for a one-dollar wager.

With a Union Rags filly who’s run credible races on all three surfaces, at several different tracks, and now owns a stakes win, Thomas certainly has options going forward.

“What I would do is get her down to Keeneland off of this and breeze her on the dirt a few times and let her tell us [what’s next],” Thomas said. “I’ve run her on the Tapeta, on the grass, and on this, and she’s showed up every time… She’s definitely earned her way to try something – you know, kind of that next step.”