Coffeepot Stables homebred Farrell officially took over as the top sophomore filly in the East on Saturday with her impressive wire-to-wire score in the $200,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes (GII) at Fair Grounds in New Orleans. The bay daughter of Malibu Moon was ridden to victory by jockey Channing Hill for trainer Wayne Catalano and defeated a field of six other fillies.
From the break, Hill guided Farrell right to the lead and the pair led at every call through somewhat pedestrian splits of :23.92, :47.32 and 1:12.22 for three-quarters of a mile, with rival Untapped doing most of the early chasing. Though briefly challenged for the lead as she began to straighten out for the drive, Farrell slowly began to pull away and, despite switching to her left lead when given a stiff crack of the whip just after passing a mile in 1:37.18, drew away to the easy victory, stopping the clock in 1:44.09.
Farrell finished 3 ½ lengths in front of the fast-closing maiden Majestic Quality and returned $9.60, $4.80 and $3.20. Majestic Quality capped off a generous $128 exacta for $2 and paid $15.60 and $5.40 at odds of nearly 24-1. Valadorna, the narrow 3-2 second choice, was worth $2.20 and the $1 trifecta was good for $162.80.
Wicked Lick, the favored Shane’s Girlfriend, Untapped and Gris Gris completed the final order of finish.
Farrell, who was bred in Kentucky, is a daughter of the stakes-winning Unbridled’s Song mare Rebridled Dreams, who finished third in this race in 2003 when it was still named the Silverbulletday Stakes. She’s been nothing short of exceptional in her second career as a broodmare, having produced two Grade I winners in Carpe Diem and J. B.’s Thunder previously. With the $120,000 winner’s share of the Rachel Alexandra purse, Farrell brought her bankroll to $361,357 and her career line now stands at 6-4-0-1.
“I’m very happy with the performance she gave me today,” Catalano said. “She was pretty good. I was happy when [Hill] said she settled for him down the backside. Today was our race.”
Catalano will get Farrell back to the barn and take a few days before deciding what’s next for his barn star, but since she’s based at Fair Grounds this winter and has two wins over the surface already, the April 1 Fair Grounds Oaks is the most logical last step before the May 5 Kentucky Oaks (GI).