Barn Notes

Stopshoppingmaria Begins Sophmore Campaign

Posted Friday, Jun 8, 2012

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When Mike Repole’s highly regarded filly Stopshoppingmaria last appeared on the racetrack on November 4, she was leading the field into deep stretch in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Churchill Downs before being passed right near the wire by the winner. On Saturday she’ll make her 2012 debut for trainer Todd Pletcher in the $60,000 Crank It Up Stakes for three-year-old fillies to be run on the turf at five and a half furlongs. 

            The dark bay daughter of More Than Ready has turned in a steady series of works at Belmont Park and in four lifetime starts she has never finished out of the money.  

            Stopshoppingmaria drew considerable attention when she broke her maiden at second asking by almost 10 lengths last August at Saratoga. In her next start, she finished second to eventual Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old filly My Miss Aurelia in the Grade 1 Frizette run at one mile on Belmont’s main track. 

            “She’s a really nice filly and I expect her to show up in the race. She always does,” said Anthony Sciametta, Pletcher’s Monmouth assistant. 

            Repole said that he named the filly, whom he purchased for $100,000 at the Ocala Breeders Sales of two-year-olds-in-training in March 11, for his wife, Maria. 

            Judy the Beauty will also make the first start of her sophomore campaign. After winning her first three races, including stakes in France and Canada, she tired in the lane in the Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga last September for the only blemish on her chart. 

She is scheduled to arrive on the grounds on Friday as part of a contingent of horses being sent here from Kentucky by trainer Wesley Ward.  The daughter of Ghostzapper has been training well over the Churchill Downs turf and on Keeneland’s Polytrack and Ward, who also owns her, will take her blinkers off for the race. 

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