Bug Eyed Betty, a 2-year-old Maryland-bred filly, made an impressive bid for divisional honors yesterday when she overcame a slow early pace set by undefeated Gala de Oro to win the $75,000-added Abrogate Stakes at Laurel Race Course.
It was six lengths back to Eye Que in the show position.
The $52,357 winner's share of the Abrogate put Bug Eyed Betty's earnings over the $140,000 mark, roughly the same as Wee Levaliere, a capable horse running in California that is expected to receive strong backing for honors in the Maryland-bred 2-year-old filly division.
Gala de Oro was first out of the gate in the mile event, followed by Autumn Play. Jockey Ben Feliciano guided the leader through a leisurely 24-second quarter and a 48 1/5 half-mile. Approaching the far turn, Feliciano asked the filly for speed and she responded by taking a clear lead with three-eighths of a mile to go.
But Vince Bracciale, astride Bug Eyed Betty, urged on his horse and she rushed up to challenge in the run to the wire. Bug Eyed Betty asserted herself as Bracciale rode her to the finish in the time of 1:38 2/5 over a drying-out racing strip. Her margin at the wire was a length.
Bug Eyed Betty was such a prohibitive favorite with the crowd estimated at 9,500 that there was no show wagering allowed on the five-horse field. Bug Eyed Betty paid $2.80 and topped a 4-5 exacta worth $4.20.