Class shown through in Fly’s 2-year-old debut. Trained by Phil Schoenthal for partners David and JoAnn Hayden’s Dark Hollow Farm, Arnold and Susie Davidov, Cal MacWilliam, Neil Teitelbaum, Rick Wallace and Kingdom Bloodstock, the filly faced nine others in the five and a half-furlong maiden special weight over the Laurel turf course on Aug. 5.
She broke well from her inside post, held her position along the rail, just behind odds-on choice and early leader Consulting, made a move to the outside rounding the turn and battled to the finish. Stride for stride the two fillies ran as they reached for the wire, in the end Fly proving stronger as she pulled away to win by a half length.
The first winner for her freshman sire, the recently deceased Brilliant Speed, Fly is out of Storm Cat’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint-G1 champion Desert Stormer.
Schoenthal picked the Kentucky-bred filly out of the Keeneland September Yearling sale and signed the ticket for $80,000, the most he ever spent on a sales prospect.
“The goal for the partnership was to try to buy a well-bred filly that would have residual value as a broodmare, after hopefully having a long and successful racing career,” said Schoenthal. “I didn’t think we would get her.”
Working in the partners’ favor was the filly was a little on the small side at the time, was the final foal out of an older (24-year-old) mare and by a stallion who stood for $5,000 his first year. The filly is now bigger, and very mature, and will look to add black-type to a family which includes half-sisters Sahara Gold, a graded stakes winner of $248,742 and dam of multiple Grade 1-winning millionare Better Lucky and graded winner Sahara Heat; and stakes-placd Ensenada, a $1.8 million sales yearling who is the dam of multiple graded winner Casino Host.
Fly is one of four horses Dark Hollow Farm has in training with Schoenthal. The filly learned her early lessons with Steuart Pittman’s Dodon Farm in Maryland and Cary Frommer in South Carolina.