It was a second Grade 1 winner for KARAKONTIE on Saturday when daughter She Feels Pretty earned a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) with a victory in the Natalma Stakes (G1).
Coming into the race exactly two months after breaking her maiden on debut, the filly tackled the one-mile turf race for her second start. Breaking a step slow, She Feels Pretty settled near the back of the pack before moving closer to midpack down the backstretch.
The Lael Stables representative raced a few paths wide around the turn to set herself up perfectly for a successful stretch run. Going even wider as they turned into the lane, She Feels Pretty was quickly confronting the leader before racing right on by.
There were no challengers for the filly in the final sixteenth as She Feels Pretty raced to a 4 ¼ length victory with the third placed runner nearly seven lengths behind her in the end.
“I was very confident, I got to say she was feeling very confident,” said jockey John Velazquez. “I made sure I put her in a good position behind (Ozara), a horse that could take me a little way down. When we turned for home, I moved her to the clear and her ears went up and I said, ‘Wow, look at this.’ I went after her and she instantly responded. The way she did it was very impressive.”
The victory was also the first Grade 1 win for trainer Cherie DeVaux, who will have her second Breeders’ Cup starter when She Feels Pretty lines up in the Santa Anita race.
“I have been very confident with her, especially with her training at Saratoga,” said DeVaux. “Every single day that she has trained she physically matured, she mentally matured. She goes out there and you can’t tell that she is a 2-year-old filly. She looks like she is one of the older fillies and more impressively just how she trains every single day she is happy to do it, it gave me the confidence going into this, especially taking this big step.”
I Feel Pretty was a $240,000 Keeneland September Yearling purchase by Lael from Stone Farm in 2022. The KARAKONTIE daughter hails from the Payson Stud breeding program out of three-time winner Summer Sweet. That mare is a half-sister to the stakes winning duo of Summer Breezing and Adirondack Summer in addition to the Grade 1 placed Summer Solo.
Summer Sweet’s granddam is also the dam of dual Grade 1 winner Act One and the Grade 1 placed duo of Gharir and Summer Symphony.
KARAKONTIE is the sire of 12 stakes winners, led by seven graded stakes winners. Multiple Grade 2 winner Princess Grace is also multiple Grade 1-placed as well.