Awesome Maria: Sabin Stakes winners is out of a half-sister to Discreet CatPICTURE: Joe Ganley/EquiSport photos
$8.5 million filly suffers heavy defeat on return
ALL eyes were on Royal Delta, last year's Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic heroine who subsequently sold for $8.5 million to Besilu Stables at the Keeneland November Sale, as she made her 2012 debut in the Grade 3 Sabin Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. However, the champion daughter of Empire Maker had no answer to Awesome Maria, who dominated to win by eight lengths.
Todd Pletcher's five-year-old daughter of Maria's Mon was making her first start since winning the Grade 1 Ogden Mills Phipps Handicap at Belmont last June.
A homebred for E. Paul Robsham Stables, Awesome Maria is one of eight Grade 1 winners by the late Pin Oak Stud stallion Maria's Mon, best known as the sire of Kentucky Derby heroes Monarchos and Super Saver. The son of Wavering Monarch, who was the 1995 US champion two-year-old, died in the summer of 2007, the year his fee hit a high of $60,000.
Awesome Maria is the first and best foal out of the Robsham-bred Discreetly Awesome, an unraced Awesome Again half-sister to Grade 1 winners Discreetly Mine and Discreet Cat.
Discreet Cat is already making an impact at stud as the sire Grade 3 Sham Stakes winner Out Of Bounds as well as Todd Pletcher's highly regarded Discreet Dancer from his first crop of three-year-olds.
Discreetly Awesome has a yearling filly by Street Cry named Absolutely Awesome.