Todd A. Pletcher Racing Stables, Inc.

Photo Call Takes Lead, Victory in Orchid

Photo Call Takes Lead, Victory in OrchidTeresa Viola Racing Stables' grade I winner Photo Call returned to her winning ways in the $200,000 Orchid Stakes (gr. IIIT) April 2 at Gulfstream Park.

The 5-year-old Galileo mare stalked leader Quiet Kitten early, but jockey Javier Castellano put her on the lead on their first trip through the stretch in the 1 3/8-mile turf event and couldn't be passed. Songoficeandfire made a valiant effort late, but could only get within three-quarters of a length at the wire.Achnaha came in third, another 1 1/2 lengths back. Watch Video

It was her first victory since her top-level score in the Rodeo Drive (gr. IT) at Santa Anita Park in September, but her two starts in between were against tough company. She ran fifth in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) and ran fourth behind Tepin in the Endeavour (gr. IIIT) last time out Feb. 13. The Endeavour was also her first start for trainer Todd Pletcher.

"We just didn't want to fight her," Pletcher said. "Last time we tried to cover her up—she got covered up, but never really relaxed. Plan A was that if someone wanted to go, we would tuck in, but if she wasn't turned off, to not fight her. Javier executed Plan B perfectly."

Quiet Kitten led through the first quarter in :25.31, before Photo Call  pushed ahead at every other call, running the half in :49.89, six furlongs in 1:15 flat, and a mile in 1:38.69. The winner hit the wire in 2:16.38 on good turf and paid $4, $2.80, and $2.40 across the board. 

"I had a great trip," Castellano said. "I wanted to rate. That was my goal, but unfortunately, she wouldn't rate. She's not that kind of horse. You need to let her run. If you rate her too much, she's not going to run. If you fighter her too much, she's not going to finish. The key today, let her run."

Songoficeandfire brought $6.20 and $4.20, and Achnaha paid $6.20 to show. 

Maximova made mild gains to finish fourth, followed by Suffused,Pretty and SweetMy Sweet Girl, Quiet Kitten, and Crisolles, to complete the order of finish.

Photo Call was bred in Ireland by Mrs. Evie Stockwell, out of the Rock of Gibraltar mare Theann, and now has a 5-2-4 record from 16 starts with $526,102 in earnings. 

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