It was just seven days ago that Circle 8’s 3-year-old filly, Aizu, finished second for trainer Michelle Nihei in a $47,400 maiden special at Gulfstream Park. Today, Aizu’s 2-year-old half-sister, Yafa, went one better for her trainer, breaking her maiden in her third start with an eye-catching performance under Ronnie Allen Jr. Both fillies are out of Circle 8’s Smarty Jones mare Red Baroness.
Based on a sharp second-place finish in her previous start, Yafa (the Jewish word for beautiful) was sent off as a prohibitive 1/2 favorite in the one-mile race on the grass. Allen got her out quickly and she settled into third place down the backstretch. He hit the gas pedal as they approached the turn and Yafa inhaled the leaders in a matter of seconds and was already drawing off in cruise control when they hit the top of the stretch. As she widened the margin in mid-stretch, track announcer Pete Aiello brought her home with “Yafa wins by as much as she wants,” which turned out to be eight lengths.
Bred by Tropical Racing, the ‘beautiful’ filly earned a check for $24,950 for Circle 8, boosting her bank account for three races to $36,950. Aizu has posted three seconds and two thirds in her last five races, and has earned $37,521.