Lael Stables’ Magic Attitude will try to start her 4-year-old season off right March 6 when she races in the older filly and mare division for the first time in the $225,000 Hillsborough Stakes (G2T) going 1 1/8 miles on the Tampa Bay Downs turf.
The Galileo filly was a group 3 winner and group 1-placed last season in France before joining trainer Arnaud Delacour’s barn on this side of the Atlantic. She got up to take the Sept. 19 Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes (G1T) at Belmont Park in her North American debut, then finished a close third in the Oct. 10 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes Presented by Dixiana (G1T) at Keeneland to close out the year.
“She breezed a half-mile Tuesday (in :49 3/5), and I’m very happy how she came out of the work,” Delacour said. “We’re excited about running her Saturday, but we still have to play it by ear because she is better on firmer turf.”
Rain is forecast Saturday, potentially impacting the race.
Magic Attitude returned to training at Classic Mile in mid-December before shipping to Tampa in mid-February.
“She needs to step up, but I think she’ll be ready,” Delacour said. “She has an explosive turn of foot and great acceleration for about a sixteenth of a mile, which you like to see from a turf filly.”
Magic Attitude drew the rail with Julien Leparoux assigned to ride. She’ll be back against Micheline , who is set to break from the outside under Luis Saez.
Godolphin’s Micheline finished second in the QEII a half-length ahead of Magic Attitude. The Bernardini filly, now 4, won the Sept. 10 Exacta Systems Dueling Grounds Oaks at Kentucky Downs one start earlier for trainer Michael Stidham.
“At the end of last year, we decided the best racing for her was going to be in March and spring and summer, and we just gave her a little freshening,” Stidham said. “She remained very sound throughout her campaign last year. We mainly did it to give her a little freshening, get her away from the racetrack for a little while. Then we started her back and she’s been training very well. We’re excited to run her.”
Klaravich Stables’ Counterparty Risk returns in the Hillsborough off a victory over the same course in the Feb. 6 Lambholm South Endeavour Stakes (G3T) racing a sixteenth of a mile shorter. The Chad Brown-trained Australia daughter, another 4-year-old, is the lightest raced in the field with only four starts. Antonio Gallardo will ride from post 2.
Also coming back from the Endeavour is R Unicorn Stable’s runner-up New York Girl , who ran second throughout in her second stateside start. Bill Mott trains the 4-year-old New Approach filly.