BY BROCK SHERIDAN
Under well navigated ride from Edwin Gonzalez, Chi Chi split horses inside the final furlong then jettisoned away from her rivals with ease to win the $60,000 Juvenile Fillies Sprint as the odds-on favorite at Gulfstream Park Saturday. Chi Chi defeated six other Florida-bred 2-year-old fillies going six-and-a-half furlongs in the Juvenile Fillies Sprint to capture her second consecutive added-money test.
The Juvenile Fillies Sprint also offered a $25,000 win bonus presented by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association for Florida Sire Stakes-eligible runners, but Chi Chi is not qualified.
By Audible out of Simply Confection, by Candy Ride (Arg), the half-sister to 2022 Florida-bred Horse of the Year Simplification won the $50,000 E.L. Gaylord, also at six-and-a-half furlongs, at Remington Park on Sept. 24 for trainer Herman Wilensky in her previous start.
Breaking from post one in the Juvenile Fillies Sprint, Chi Chi sat mid-pack as the Jena Antonucci-trained Avelino set the pace with a quarter-mile fraction of :22.90 while a half-length in front of Epona’s Hope in second.
Around the far turn, Avelino, Miss Sayely, Epona’s Hope and Hepburn spanned four across the track as Chi Chi raced just behind those four until they turned for home after a half-mile in :45.84.
As the fillies straightened for home, Gonzalez waited patiently for a seam that eventually opened to the right of Avelino on the inside and with little encouragement, pushed Chi Chi to the lead. Chi Chi darted clear to win by two-and-three-quarter lengths in 1:18.44 on the fast track.
Hepburn was second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Miss Sayley in third. Avelino, Epona’s Hope, Florindia and Genuine Peril completed the order of finish.
Chi Chi paid $3.20 to win.
Sam Wilensky, the trainer’s assistant and son, said Chi Chi can be difficult to train but feels she will continue to improve on her impressive victory.
“It was actually a tough week for her,” Sam Wilensky said of Chi Chi. “As you can see, she’s a monster, and she’s extremely tough to train. She’s very strong. It’s a little bit of a struggle. She’s run off a couple times this week. I don’t think she was at her best.”
Bred in Florida by France Weiner, Chi Chi improved her record to two wins in four starts with earnings of $71,840. The bay filly went through the auction ring at Ocala Breeders’ Sales as a short yearling in the Winter Mixed Sale in January of 2022 where she was consigned by Stuart Morris but did not meet her reserve.
Chi Chi started her career in Southern California but was unsuccessful in two starts against maiden special weight fillies, both times going five furlongs on the turf. In her first start, she finished fifth behind winner Mysticism on Aug. 4 then was fourth behind winner Soho on Sept. 8.
With graded stakes-winner Simplification, Chi Chi is the second black-type performer for Simply Confection, who has one other runner, an unnamed yearling colt by Union Rags and an unnamed weanling filly by Not This Time. Simply Confection was bred to Into Mischief in 2023.
Return to Nov. 11 issue of Wire to Wire