TDN RISING STARS

October 1, 2014 - Belmont Park, Race 3, Msw, USD $75,000, 1 1/16m

Puca, f, 2, 2012 by Big Brown

1st Dam: Boat's Ghost, by Silver Ghost
2nd Dam: Rocktheboat, by Summer Squall
3rd Dam: Native Boat, by Native Royalty

Owner: Donegal Racing
Breeder: Jerry Crawford & Paul Pompa Jr (KY)
Trainer: William I Mott

Puca displayed versatility reminiscent of her GI Kentucky Derby-winning sire and blew her rivals away by 16 1/4 lengths to earn her diploma and a TDN Rising Star Wednesday afternoon at Belmont Park. Racing without Lasix, Puca allowed some early traffic to clear and was a stalking fourth upon settling before tugging Junior Alvarado up into third as favored Cara Marie (Unbridled's Song) dictated things up front. But that pacesetter had called it a day midway on the turn, and Puca, hard against the bit every step of the way, overtook I'm a Lucky Girl (Broken Vow) at the head of the lane and turned on the afterburners in the stretch under a moderate hand ride as the 5-2 third choice. Cover Up (Tapit) was a distant runner-up as the 2-1 second favorite. A debut seventh sprinting over the Saratoga main track Aug. 10, the half-sister to connections' Grade I-placed turfer Finnegans Wake (Powerscourt {GB}), $675,375--runner-up in Sunday's GII John Henry Turf Championship--switched surfaces and stretched out for her latest, a strong-finishing third behind Sunday's GIII Miss Grillo S. heroine Lady Eli (Divine Park) at the Spa Aug. 25. Sales history: $90,000 yrl ‘13 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: 3-1-0-1, $53,632.

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