I Still Miss You sharp winner of Key Cents Stakes at 11-1

Friday, November 24th, 2017

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Juvenile filly I Still Miss You (Majestic Warrior), who last visited the winner’s circle after winning the open Astoria Stakes at Belmont Park on June 8, resumed her winning ways on Belmont’s Black Friday card with a sharp front-running win in the $100,000 Key Cents Stakes for New York-breds.

Trained by Jeremiah Englehart for partners Gold Star Racing Stable, Matthew Hand and Brian McKenzie, I Still Miss You began her career with all systems on go, putting together back-to-back open-length wins in her Belmont debut and the Astoria within the span of 21 days. After running a solid second to Pure Silver in Belmont’s Lynbrook on July 16, however, she finished well out of the money in her next two tries, both New York-bred stakes, by a combination of more than sixty lengths.

Let go at odds of 11-1 in the competitive Key Cents field, I Still Miss You gave every sign before the race that she was on her toes, including a brisk, eye-catching warm-up under Manny Franco, who had the call for the first time aboard the dark bay filly.

Shortly after an even break for all, I Still Miss You from post five hooked up with 44-1 Stone Cold Flirt to her inside, and the pair clocked an opening quarter mile in 22.45.

By the completion of a half in 46.15 during which the top two traded the lead, I Still Miss You poked a head in front of Stone Cold Flirt for good, while 8-5 favorite and Grade 2 Adirondack winner Pure Silver waited in the wings in third.

Once Stone Cold Flirt began to fade, Pure Silver rallied into second but, by the wire, could get no closer than one length to the victorious I Still Miss You, who I stopped the clock after six furlongs at 1:12.98.

NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

I Still Miss You’s better-regarded stablemate Indy’s Lady (3-1), who raced in last place, as much as 10 lengths off the lead in for the first half mile and more, came with a flying finish in the final furlong to edge Cause We are Loyal for fourth by a neck. Miss Mystique and Stone Cold Flirt dead heated for fifth, while Newport Breeze and Tayler’s the Boss completed the order of finish.

“I think she was comfortable in front, and some of her best races have come when she’s been in front,” said Franco. “I didn’t have many instructions. The pace helped because she was in control and when I asked her to go, she was there for me.”

“The race in Saratoga [the 6 1/2 furlong Seeking the Ante on August 25, where I Still Miss You finished last of nine] was a real headscratcher,” said Englehart. “We added blinkers with the thought that if she got in between horses again, maybe she wouldn’t worry about it as much. The last race [Maid of the Mist at Belmont on October 21 at one mile] was going long and I don’t think she wants to go long. Our plan was to keep the same level of horses and run her in a six-furlong race with the blinkers and see how it would help. Today, she ran back to her old self. She’s just more of a sprinter. I thought Manny did a good job of asking her to get into a good spot. He didn’t allow the race to come to her, he put her in the race and I thought that was the difference.”

I Still Miss You, who has earned $206,867 from three wins and a second in six starts, was bred by Emcee Stable, LLC and foaled at Hickory Hill Farm Thoroughbreds.

The filly is the first foal out of Maryland-bred Lion’s Terms who won 16 races for Englehart and Gold Star Racing Stable and earned $235,042. Lion’s Terms has a yearling colt by Blame who brought $100,000 at the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale this year. Without issue this year after being bred to Orb in 2016, she visited Congrats this spring.

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