Thoughtfully passes graded stakes test in Adirondack (G2)
by Ryan Martin
Heider Family Stables' Thoughtfully rallied from last of five to post a decisive victory in the Grade 2, $150,000 Adirondack, a 6 1/2-furlong test for 2-year-old fillies at Saratoga Race Course.
The dark bay daughter of Tapit arrived at the Adirondack off a dazzling career debut at Churchill Downs, where she tracked the leaders and drew off to an 8 3/4-length romp. Much like in her first start, she was all alone at the wire in the Adirondack.
Piloted by Ricardo Santana, Jr., who notched a third stakes win of the meet, Thoughtfully settled off the pace in the tightly packed field of five, which was led by Ava's Grace through an opening quarter-mile in 22.33 seconds and a half in 46.12.
Around the far turn, Santana, Jr. was still looking for racing room with his charge, and angled out to the four path approaching the quarter pole. Thoughtfully took command approaching the eighth pole and drew off to a five-length triumph in a final time of 1:17.20 on the fast main track.
Make Mischief finished second, one length ahead of Ava's Grace. Lilac Lace and Lucifers Lair completed the order of finish. Beautiful Farewell was scratched.
Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, who won the Adirondack with My Miss Aurelia (2011) and Just Wicked (2015), Thoughtfully banked $82,500 in victory while improving her lifetime earnings to $127,564. As the even-money favorite, Thoughtfully returned $4 on a $2 win wager.
"She's a super nice, classy filly. Today, going 6 ½ [furlongs], I thought to take my time with her. It's her second time out, and we wanted to teach her something. She responded really well. She has a lot of class," Santana, Jr. said. "It's her second time out and I didn't want to put her on the lead. We were sitting behind the speed and she was feeling happy and comfortable where she was. I was really happy with her, too, and I was just waiting for the hole to open, and she gave me a really good kick."
Santana Jr. gets on Thoughtfully in the morning and said that she displays the same demeanor during training that she does when it's race time.
"She does the same thing in the morning. She's so special," Santana, Jr. said. "When you work horses like her in the morning, you know what you have the in race. I was really happy and comfortable with where she was. This was the first time behind horses; last time, she was in the clear. Steve did a great job with her and [assistant] Scott Blasi and everyone did well with her. We're really happy with her."
Thoughtfully, bred in Kentucky by Gainesway Thoroughbreds, was purchased for $950,000 from the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Yearling Sale last August. She is out of the Seeking the Gold mare Pension and is a half-sister to stakes winners Annual Report and Giant Payday.
Live racing returns on Thursday with a 10-race card, featuring the $85,000 Union Avenue for New York-bred fillies and mares going seven furlongs over the main track. First post is 12:50 p.m. Eastern.