Flashy Gray Featured on ESPN.com: Flashy Filly Spotlights Oaks
Article by Gary West of ESPN.com
Sunday afternoon, just about the time this was starting to look like an ordinary, even uninspiring, year for fillies, Flashy Gray turned into the Gulfstream Park stretch and then, at the urging of Joel Rosario, took complete control of the moment, the race and the outcome. And maybe this won't be such an ordinary season for fillies after all.
A long mural of black and white and gray dapples, she can turn heads just standing there motionless, and when she moves like that -- well, she can turn expectations, too, turn them right around. Sunday, Flashy Gray ran the final three of seven furlongs in 36.42 seconds, pulling clear to win by nearly five lengths. Taken in hand in the final yards, she stopped the teletimer at 1:22.64. Later that afternoon at Gulfstream, just to provide some context, a maiden race for what looked to be a solid group of colts was won in 1:25.11, with a final three-eighths in 39.80.
Bill Mott, Flashy Gray's Hall of Fame trainer, said she "looked pretty serious," and he's rather serious himself. Having trained several of the best horses of the last 20 years, Mott doesn't impress easily, and he approaches conclusions as if they're rickety, antique cane chairs, prone to collapse when jumped upon. He liked what he saw from Flashy Gray.
"She responded when she was asked," Mott said, explaining that the filly's temperament and stride should enable her to stretch out. "It wasn't like she was trying to run off. She ran when he [Rosario] called on her, and she galloped out strongly."
But until then, until that fey-gray moment Sunday afternoon, the 3-year-old fillies, as a group, seemed to be off to a rather uninspiring start to their season. Beholder, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2012, shockingly lost the Santa Ynez in her seasonal debut. She was later found to have a throat ulcer that no doubt compromised her performance, but hardly softened the shock.