LOUISVILLE, KY – Feathered, who has hinted at talent while knocking heads with top fillies on dirt, made her first start on turf a winning one, leading throughout and holding off favored Quality Rocks to take the Grade 3, $150,000 Edgewood Stakes for 3-year-old fillies Friday at Churchill Downs.
Feathered ($10.40) finished third in the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes and second in the Grade 1 Starlet Stakes, beaten just half a length in the Starlet by champion Take Charge Brandi as a 2-year-old last year. Feathered turned in two unplaced efforts to begin this season, most recently finishing seventh in the Grade 3 Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park behind Include Betty, Oceanwave, and Sarah Sis, all of whom will run in the Kentucky Oaks later on the card.
Feathered’s pedigree hints at turf ability. She is out of a Dynaformer mare, and from the family of multiple graded stakes winner Optimizer.
“She’s kind of the size and shape of a filly who might get over the turf well,” said Todd Pletcher, who trains Feathered for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners. “And with a pedigree like that, it seemed like the logical play.”
Leaving from post 5 under Javier Castellano, Feathered broke well enough to clear the field in the run through the stretch the first time, and, with Lady Zuzu on her flank, ticked off moderate early fractions of 24.22 seconds, 49.22, and 1:13.40.
Turning for home, Feathered kicked away to a clear lead, and had enough in the tank to hold off a late bid by Quality Rocks, finishing two lengths in front. She stopped the clock in 1:42.05 for 1 1/16 miles on turf rated firm.
“Plan A was we thought we might be sitting behind [Quality Rocks] and [My Year Is a Day],” Pletcher said. “She broke well, and a couple of those didn’t, and Javier called an audible and went ahead and took advantage of it.”
After Quality Rocks in second, it was 2 3/4 lengths back to Lady Zuzu, who held third.
Pletcher and Castellano team up with Eskenformoney in the Kentucky, as well as with unbeaten Materiality in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.