Brilliant filly She’s a Tiger (2f Tale of the Cat x Shandra Smiles, by Cahill Road) has been taking giant strides this year and took another leap up the ladder when landing the Grade I Debutante Stakes at Del Mar on Saturday.
Previously successful in the $150,500 Landaluce Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park, She’s a Tiger was fitted with blinkers for this tougher assignment and handled the rise in class with ease.
She took the seven furlong dash by half a length, her overall record now three wins and a second from four starts with prizemoney topping $300,000.
“The blinkers definitely made a difference today,” said winning trainer Jeff Bonde.
“She was dominant over horses up north, but when we came down here, she was kind of pricking her ears and looking around. She got stronger, and when we added those, she got more focused.”
She’s a Tiger was partnered by Gary Stevens, who was delighted with her performance.
“She got a flyer away from there, but she settled pretty well,” Stevens commented.
“But then when we got near the three-quarters pole, she wanted to duck in on me. You’re going to think I’m crazy, but I think she’ll be better going two turns, where I could drop her head and let her just get into a high gallop like Winning Colors. She’s got a stride on her a mile long and I think she’d love to go on.”
A $150,000 Keeneland September purchase, She’s a Tiger is a three-quarter sister to triple Grade I winner Smiling Tiger and is one of four winners from stakes-winner Shandra Smiles.
She’s a Tiger has the honour of being the ninth Grade I winner for accomplished shuttle sire Tale of the Cat.