By Brian W. Spencer
The step into stakes company proved no serious hurdle Saturday for Howling Pigeon Farms, Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable and Madaket Stables’ Needs Supervision, who captured her third race in a row and earned 10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks with a win in Saturday’s $147,000 Silverbulletday Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots on Road to the Derby Kickoff Day Presented by Hotel Monteleone.
Needs Supervision stamped herself a filly to watch with an emphatic five-length win against first-level allowance company in November at Churchill Downs, and trainer Jeremiah O’Dwyer had the daughter of Paynter primed to step in with better. Sitting tactically in the early stages under Joe Rocco, Jr., the eventual winner tracked longshot Fun Finder from third through splits of 24.12, 49.57 and 1:15.83 before the speed called it a day.
Needs Supervision assumed control heading to the top of the stretch, turned away her closest pursuers, and held firm when faced with a late challenge from Edward Seltzer and Beverly Anderson’s Eres Tu, who stayed on well under Ricardo Santana, Jr. to finish second at 31-1, beaten just three-quarters of a length for trainer Steve Asmussen. It was another 5¼ lengths back in third to Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch’s Brendan Walsh-trained Grandaria, the 3-2 post-time favorite for jockey Corey Lanerie. The final time was 1:45.34 for the one mile and 70 yards.
“I more or less stayed out of her way,” Rocco said. “She stumbled leaving the gate, and I was a little worried then, but she picked herself up right away and put us in a good spot.”
“I was confident because of the type of filly she has been from day one,” O’Dwyer said. “Different bunch today while stepping up in class against nice fillies, and she proved today she can handle any surface. I’ll have to discuss [the next step] with the owners.”
Bred in Kentucky by Mike Abraham, Needs Supervision was purchased by O’Dwyer for $55,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Mid-Atlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale, where she was consigned by Hidden Brook Farms.
The win was Needs Supervision’s third in four lifetime starts, and she earned $90,000 for the effort to boost her bankroll to $168,030. She paid $7, $4 and $2.80, with Eres Tu returning $15.80 and $6. Grandaria paid $2.60.
Liora, Cowgirls Like Us, Mandy Blue and Fun Finder completed the running order.
Silverbulletday Stakes Quotes
Joe Rocco, Jr. (jockey of Needs Supervision, winner): “I more or less stayed out of her way. She stumbled leaving the gate, and I was a little worried then, but she picked herself up right away and put us in a good spot.”
Jeremiah O’Dwyer (trainer of Needs Supervision, winner): “I was confident because of the type of filly she has been from day one. It was different bunch today while stepping up in class against nice fillies, and she proved today she can handle any surface. I’ll have to discuss [the next step] with the owners.”
Ricardo Santana, Jr. (jockey of Eres Tu, runner-up): “We got a good trip,” Santana said of his longshot runner-up. “The boss had a lot of confidence in her, and she ran her race today. We expected that she would show up and she would try, and she did. She ran good.”
Corey Lanerie (jockey of Grandaria, third): “I sat behind the pace, and when I called on her, she gave me what she had. Today we couldn’t get there.”