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Devious Intent Hits Gardenia Upset
With all eyes focused elsewhere, Devious Intent went into the Grade III $100,000 Gardenia Stakes on Saturday at Ellis Park intent on stealing an upset win. She did just that, with a thrilling 16-1 win at the wire, after a late stretch duel with front-running 27-1 Magic Hour, that heavy 1-5 favorite Groupie Doll could not match. With the defending Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint champ heavily overbet after an eight-month layoff, the winning 9-6 exacta paid $334.00, and the trifecta with the favorite on the bottom still paid out more than $1,500.00.
Groupie Doll not quite fast enough off layoff
Coming off a second place finish in the ungraded Saylorville Stakes at Prairie Meadows, and with a handful of optional claiming event in her recent past, it didn’t seem like Devious Intent would be any match for Groupie Doll. Even after the long layoff, Groupie Doll had dominated her competition last season, winning not only the Breeders’ Cup title, but two other Grade I races, and five graded-stakes events in all. But after a bit of a slow start, Groupie Doll was forced to race wide throughout, menaced at the top of the stretch but could not find enough.
Leaders battle step-for-step in stretch drive
The winner was in doubt throughout the stretch drive in the Gardenia, with pacesetter Magic Hour not conceding anything when they made the turn for home. Headed by Devious Intent at the top of the stretch, she dug in along the rail and battled to the wire, only beaten by a neck, herself a neck in front of the favorite. For Devious Intent, this was her first graded-stakes win in three lifetime tries. She now has five in-the-money finishes in six starts for 2013, and has four wins, five seconds and a third in 15 lifetime races.
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