From the Bloodhorse:
In only her second start, 3-year-old filly Queen Picasso proved a maestro on the turf when running down graded winner American Apple May 27 at Belmont Park to capture the $169,750 Soaring Softy Stakes (G3T).
Nestled behind an energetic American Apple, who led the way in the seven-furlong race with fractions of :23.06 and :45.83, jockey Jose Ortiz kept his mount within striking distance at the top of the stretch. With the leader stubborn on the lead while on the inside, Queen Picasso battled down alongside her until getting in front with six furlongs in 1:08.89. The Christophe Clement-trained 3-year-old Kingman filly then powered clear, finishing seven furlongs in 1:21.24 while two lengths in front.
Queen Picasso ($7.70) improved her record to 2-for-2 and boosted her earnings to $138,250.
“Jose (Ortiz) gave her a good ride. They told me a lot of (Kingman progeny) get a mile, so she might be a miler. She won well,” Clement said. “The only thing I told Jose was to be careful, she can be a touch aggressive and a touch rank. I think he was a bit worried that the horse on the lead would steal the race and that’s the reason he kept at it.”
The English-bred filly was sourced overseas by BSW/Crow Euro Venture who went to $285,241 to secure her from The National Stud’s consignment at the 2021 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale. She was bred by Dermot Farrington and Canning Downs out of the Danroad mare Aris , who has five winners from six foals to race, including group 1 winner Aclaim .
Campaigned by the partnership of Siena Farm, Michael Kisber, Peter Deutsch, and Stuart Grant’s The Elkstone Group, Queen Picasso’s only other race before contesting graded company was a maiden special weight victory going 1 1/16 miles over the Gulfstream Park turf March 5. As in the Soaring Softly, she pressed the pace under Ortiz before taking command.
“First time out, she broke really, really sharp. I just let somebody else go to the lead,” Ortiz said. “Basically, I was taking a big hold of her. I knew cutting back wasn’t going to be a big deal. Christophe trained her very sharp and she broke well. I just tried to save as much as I could for the end.”
Potential targets for Queen Picasso’s summer campaign could be the June 24 Wild Applause Stakes at Belmont or the Lake George Stakes (G3T) July 21 at Saratoga Race Course.
“Let’s see how she is. She can go for the Wild Applause, she can go for the Lake George. She’s 2-for-2, so let’s enjoy that for a day or two and then go from there,” Clement said.