Two for 2012. Tabby Lane, under one of the best rides I’ve seen on her by jockey Dean Butler, powered past the leaders in the lane to take her second race in a row, defeating a field of $12,500 claimers to stay perfect in the new year.
As you’ll recall, in my preview post I said there were definitely some things I liked coming into this race for her: the level is in her wheelhouse; 3rd off the layoff has always been good for her; she seems to really like Tampa. Additionally, she was able to come from slightly off the pace in her previous start on a day when speed seemed to be running away with everything.
Right out of the gate Dean took her back and let the pace start to play itself out. The first quarter went in :23.1, not blistering but certainly a healthy pace. When the pace didn’t slacken much at the half (:47) I picked up a lot of confidence even while Tabby was yielding a bit of ground. What I thought during the first quarter was being off the speed a bit too much turned out to be a perfect read of the pace by Dean as the race unfolded in front of him.
As they moved into the far turn, Tabby started closing the gap and then started picking up horses. Entering the lane she was still fifth of seven but only 3 ½ off of the lead in the middle of the racetrack. When she was asked to switch leads she kicked it into gear and ended up drawing off by 2 at odds of nearly 6-1.
It was another stirring stretch run for Tabby, picking up her 10th win in 36 starts and her seventh win for her current connections – and this is on happy “current connection”!
She came back from the race just fine and we’ll see where she’ll go next. When you win you have options and options are always nice to have.