Bold Affair quickly opened a lead on her way to an easy victory over filly and mare rivals in the $75,000 Conniver Stakes on Saturday at Laurel Park.
Owned by Charles Reed and Mike Zanella and trained by Howard Wolfendale, Bold Affair left the gate as the 6-5 favorite under jockey Abel Castellano. At the finish, the daughter of Two Punch was 61/2 lengths ahead of Baltimore Belle, with Music Please a distant third.
"I was very impressed," Castellano said. "I was waiting for the other horses to come especially around the turn. I was wondering 'Where is everybody?' but she kept going. When I got to the quarter pole, I asked her to go and again there was nobody coming."
Added Wolfendale: "I didn't think she would run that big. I was waiting for her to start backing up, but she kept going. It is a pleasure to train a horse as talented as that. Good horses make good trainers."
Wolfendale was concerned when his filly drew the rail for the Conniver, but the daughter of Two Punch accelerated to the lead and increased her advantage at every call. Bold Affair covered the seven-furlong distance in 1 minute, 23.74 seconds and paid $4.60.
"She didn't break well, which has been a problem, but since nobody sent, she had enough speed to get out front and off the rail," Wolfendale said.
Said Castellano: "She is a great big filly with a big stride. I had a lot of confidence coming into the race. It was a very impressive performance."
Bold Affair is now five for nine lifetime and has finished off the board just once with earnings of $257,880. Last year, she had a victory in the Jostle Stakes at Parx Racing and third-place finishes in the Dearly Precious at Monmouth and Miss Preakness at Pimlico Race Course. She prepped for the Conniver by finishing second in an optional claiming race at Laurel in January, behind multiple stakes winner Red's Round Table.