Saturday’s $147,000 Silverbulletday S. at Fair Grounds turned into a match race between Brad Cox fillies, as the market expected. But it was the 2.30-1 second choice, The Alys Look, who fought off 4-5 favorite Chop Chop to earn 20 points toward the Kentucky Oaks (G1).
Ike and Dawn Thrash’s The Alys Look had the advantage of race fitness as well as experience over the track. A front-running maiden winner at this track and trip Dec. 1, the bay was a closing second in the Dec. 26 Untapable S., the opening leg of the three-year-old fillies’ series in New Orleans. In contrast, Chop Chop was just starting back after a toss-out last as the favorite in the Nov. 4 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1).
The other decisive point was tactics. The Alys Look reverted to a more forward style for new rider Luis Saez here, and that gave her just enough of an edge over Chop Chop.
As 13.30-1 outsider Hayunevano went to the lead, The Alys Look hovered in second through splits of :24.37 and :48.08. Chop Chop, well placed in a watching third, was quick to advance when the picture changed.
The Alys Look took charge from the weakening Hayunevano and reached six furlongs in 1:12.51. But Chop Chop had already covered her move and accosted her stablemate rounding the far turn. The Cox duo settled into a prolonged tussle down the Gentilly stretch. While Chop Chop tried her utmost to get past, The Alys Look parried every thrust.
Edging a length clear in the final strides, The Alys Look negotiated one mile and 70 yards in 1:43.55. The improving daughter of Connect now has a total of 24 points.
Chop Chop added eight points to bring up her tally to 12. From the first crop of City of Light, she stands to benefit from this tightener.
There was a 13 1/2-length gap back to Hayunevano, who salvaged third by a neck from Forest Chimes. Hayunevano, previously fourth in the Untapable, earned six points and now has eight overall. Forest Chimes opened her account with four points, and fifth-placer Cotton Candy Annie picked up two points. Amber Cascade and Norah G concluded the order under the wire.
The Alys Look has bankrolled $150,528 from her 5-2-1-1 line. Her Silverbulletday win arguably boosts the filly who beat her in the Untapable, Pretty Mischievous. Still, The Alys Look might have fared better with a different trip, and her scope to move forward can’t be discounted. We’ll know more as the local trail unfolds, from the Feb. 18 Rachel Alexandra (G2) to the Mar. 25 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2).
Bred by G. Watts Humphrey Jr. in Kentucky, The Alys Look sold for $60,000 as a Keeneland September yearling. Her dam, the Harlan’s Holiday mare Foul Play, is a full sister to stakes-placed Stormy Holiday, and also a half to Grade 2-placed Top of Mind and multiple New York-bred stakes placed Royal Dancer.