FIRST STAKES VICTORY FOR THE CHASEY DEVILLE POMIER RUNNER
OPELOUSAS, LA –The penultimate day of racing saw a potential star-in-the-making as Gerald Bruno, Jr.’s Free Like a Girl scored a big victory in the $60,000 D.S. ‘Shine’ Young Futurity on Friday night. The filly division of the futurity for Louisiana-bred runners was contested over the distance of 5-1/2 furlongs.
Madame Jane broke sharply to gain early control, with Free Like a Girl rushing up after a slow start from her outside post. Through an opening quarter-mile in a quick 22.06 seconds, Madame Jane opened up a 1-1/2 length lead with Free Like a Girl and Morewickedthanless on the chase. Jockey Pedro Cotto Jr. urged Free Like a Girl to go after the leader and cut that margin to only a head as they covered the half-mile in 46.25 seconds.
Despite drifting wide coming off the turn, Free Like a Girl was able to wrestle the lead away from a tiring Madame Jane inside the final furlong. Buckley Bunny and Serape both made late challenges in the lane, but were held off by the Chasey Deville Pomier runner. The winning margin for Free Like a girl, who stopped the clock in 1:05.87 over a track rated fast, was 1-1/4 lengths. Buckley Bunny was up for second, with Serape a ½-length back in third. Early leader Madame Jane faded to fourth.
The winner’s share of $36,000 increased the lifetime bankroll of Free Like a Girl to $75,713. The victory is the second win from only six career starts.
The 2-year-old was bred in Louisiana by Kim Renee Stover and Lisa Osborne. The bay filly is by El Deal, out of the Flashy Bull mare Flashy Prize.
Sent off as the favorite at even money, Free Like a Girl paid $4 to win, $2.60 to place and $2.40 to show. Buckley Bunny returned $5.80 to place and $4 to show. Serape paid backers $5.80 to show.