Grace and Dignity, an overwhelming 2-5 favorite to go two-for-two to kick off her career, made those short odds look like a bargain as she streaked home a dominant and promising winner worthy of the ‘TDN Rising Star’ distinction at Woodbine Wednesday evening, October 19.
Airing by 5 1/2 lengths and earning a solid 82 Beyer Speed Figure when unveiled on Ricoh Woodbine Mile Day Sept. 16, the chestnut was further flattered when the third finisher from that event came back to win last Friday.
With Michael and Jules Iavarone and Bob Sauter having bought out her breeder since the debut, she broke a half-step slowly, but quickly rushed through rivals to seize command. Opening up to lead by a length through an opening quarter in :22.42, Grace and Dignity started to build on that advantage into the bend and got the half in :44.56. Nobody was catching her in the stretch, and she kicked home under wraps to air by 5 1/4 lengths in a snappy 1:08.77.
Track announcer Robert Geller was duly impressed by the effort, going to his well of superlatives for the stretch call: “So how good is Grace and Dignity? She just stamps herself as a class above them. She might be something special!”
Bloodstock agents Nick Sallusto and Hanzly Albina, who have a long and storied history with the Iavarones, brokered the deal to purchase the daughter of rising first crop sire Animal Kingdom. Michael Iavarone was a key principal in IEAH Stable that had a string of successes in the 2000s with the likes of Kentucky Derby/Preakness champ Big Brown, Breeders’ Cup Mile hero Kip Deville and Eclipse Champion Benny the Bull. He left the game several years ago but he and his wife are wading back in.
“It’s so great to see Michael back and enjoying the game,” said Nick Sallusto. “He always played at the highest level and we couldn’t be more excited about the future ahead with Grace and Dignity.”
-edited from www.thoroughbreddailynews.com