9th-GP, $44,000, Alw (NW1X)/Opt. Clm ($75,000), 1-4, 3yo, f, 1m, 1:39.03, ft.
FLY SO HIGH (f, 3, Malibu Moon–Quiet Flight, by Quiet American), pounded throughout the betting cycle and off at 1-5, made good on the ‘TDN Rising Star‘ distinction she earned last time while giving the impression that she might still have some growing up to do. Away awkwardly and taking a few strides to find her footing, the $675,000 KEESEP yearling advanced into fourth out in the clear while 18 1/2-length debut winner My Favorite Gift (Tapit) showed the way through a :23.91 opening quarter. Jose Ortiz asked the favorite for a bit more as she moved to second into a :46.99 half, and she ranged up ominously heading for home while towering over her main rival. My Favorite Gift dug in gamely at the top of the lane, but Fly So High had another gear, and bounded clear by 5 1/2 lengths.
“She did everything right, but in the stretch when she found herself by herself, she started to play a little, so I kept asking for more,” Ortiz said. “She’s very talented. She will go longer.”
A late-on-the-scene third at Belmont Oct. 8, Fly So High was coming off a front-running 7 3/4-length romp going a mile at Aqueduct Nov. 16.
“One of the hardest things for horses to do is break their maiden and come back against winners,” trainer Shug McGaughey. “I liked the way she came over today. She acted like she knew she was going to run. Everything didn’t go perfect for her at the beginning of the race, but Jose got her out and got here in good position. She went from there. She got a little green when she made the lead, but that doesn’t surprise me. I think this race will do her good and I’m looking forward to the future.”
McGaughey said the GII Davona Dale S. back in Hallandale Mar. 3 could be a likely next spot for Fly So High.
Greg Goodman’s Mt. Brilliant Broodmares paid $600,000 for dam Quiet Flight at the blockbuster Ned Evans dispersal at the 2011 Keeneland November Sale. She was carrying a Quality Road colt at the time who later sold for $500,000 at KEESEP. Quiet Flight is a full-sister to the SW/GSP dam of 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam (Saint Ballado), graded stakes winners Quiet Giant Giant’s Causeway), Congressionalhonor (Forestry), et al. She has another Malibu Moon filly named Quiet Pirate who just turned two. Lifetime Record: 3-2-0-1, $69,900. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-Phipps Stable; B-Mt Brilliant Broodmares II LLC (KY); T-Claude R. McGaughey III.