Excerpts from story by Evan Hammonds on bloodhorse.com
Denali client and celebrity chef Bobby Flay’s More Than Real opened up in the stretch, easily winning wins the $909,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IIT) over favored Winter Memories. The winning daughter of More Than Ready got the mile on turf in 1:36.61. Kathmanblu, foaled, raised and sold by Denali for William Dobozi finished third, a head behind the runner-up.
Dos Lunas broke sharply from the rail and set the early pace over the firm turf, setting the early fractions of :23.57 and :47.58. The field was tightly bunched down the backstretch as the Winter Memories was bottled up inside along the hedge under Jose Lezcano. More Than Real, with Garrett Gomez aboard, sat fifth while outside of horses about three lengths off the early lead.
Moving early, More than Real came off the turn and quickly grabbed the lead after six furlongs in 1:12.38. She quickly opened up a sizable 3 1/2-length advantage mid-stretch and cruised to the wire two lengths to the good. Lezcano lodged an objection against the winner for alleged interference in the upper stretch, but it was disallowed.
“She traveled well early," Gomez said. "I saw (jockey Jose) Lezcano (on Winter Memories) trying to make a run on the outside. I kind of tried to make it difficult for him without impeding him and I thought we did so successfully. She is a really nice filly and I am looking forward to her 3-year-old campaign.”
Flay purchased the horse from Mike Ryan after the filly broke her maiden first time out Aug. 14 at Saratoga. For Flay and Pletcher, More Than Real ran second in the Natalma Stakes (Can-IIIT) Sept. 18 at Woodbine.
"We gave her some time off after the Natalma and I think that made all the difference," Pletcher said. "We had a great trip. Garrett gave her a great ride and we got a jump on the favorite, and I think that is all we needed.”