I Still Miss You wires Astoria Stakes, now a perfect two-for-two

Thursday, June 8th, 2017
NYRA/Chelsea Durand

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

I Still Miss You (Majestic Warrior), the front-running winner of a five-furlong, New York-bred maiden special weight by 3 1/2 lengths three weeks ago, wheeled right back to wire the $150,000 Astoria Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Belmont Park on Thursday afternoon, the opening day of the three-day Belmont Stakes Festival.

Third betting choice in the field of eight at odds of 4-1, I Still Miss You shot of the gate and into the lead from post position two under Javier Castellano. She was soon joined by favorite Sugar Queen vying to her outside, then a three-wide Waki Patriot (6-1) through a first quarter mile in 22.19.

Leading her two rivals by a half-length as she entered the turn, I Still Miss You ended up shoulder-to-shoulder with Waki Patriot as they straightened out for the drive.

I Still Miss You kicked clear again in upper stretch, and Best Performance advanced into third. From that point on, Best Performance and Waki Patriot chased in vain.

In the final furlong, first under hand urging, then with a few reminders with the whip, I Still Miss You refused to give up an inch of ground, and sailed home a 2 1/2-length winner in a final time of 1:04.85.

Best Performance finished second, a head in front of Waki Patriot who crossed the wire ten lengths ahead of the fourth-place finisher. [VIDEO REPLAY]

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

“It was a big field and with the inside post, I had to use her speed and she responded,” said Castellano. “We didn’t have a chance to rate; we had to send her because of the position she had. From the outside post, we can ask her to relax a little bit and don’t push her too much.” Added Castellano, “I think you’ll be able to stretch her out. I think she’s a straightforward filly, it’s the first time I rode her. She’ll move forward well.”

Jeremiah Englehart, who trains the filly for partners Gold Star Racing Stable, Matthew Hand and Brian McKenzie, referred to the way I Still Miss You fared after her debut three weeks ago. “Coming out of that race she’s done everything right. She didn’t lose any weight, her blood work remained good and we thought she would give a similar effort her if she was fast enough and she proved that today.”

Continued Englehart, “I thought Javier did a great job with her. I’ve had two great rides from her on Irad [Ortiz, Jr.] the first time, and Javier now and you’re pretty lucky when you’re in that company.”

I Still Miss You has earned $124,200 from her two wins.

Bred by Emcee Stable, LLC and foaled at Hickory Hill Farm Thoroughbreds, I Still Miss You is the first foal out of Maryland-bred Lion’s Terms. The mare won 16 races for Englehart and Gold Star Racing Stable and earned $235,042. Lion’s Terms has a yearling colt by Blame and was bred last year to Orb.

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