May 22, 2022

Fluffy Socks proves best in Sands Point

Fluffy Socks wins the Sands Point Stakes (Photo by Susie Raisher/Coglianese Photos)

Head of Plain Partners’ (Sol Kumin) homebred Fluffy Socks gamely prevailed in Saturday’s $200,000 Sands Point S. (G2) at Belmont Park, outfinishing Runaway Rumour by a neck in the 1 1/8-mile turf affair for three-year-old fillies. Joel Rosario was up for Chad Brown on the Kentucky-bred daughter of Slumber.

“Fluffy Socks is a barn and fan favorite with her name,” Brown said. “She’s a homebred of Slumber from very modest beginnings, but she’s really a great racehorse and a beautiful filly that just keeps getting better. I’m real happy for Sol Kumin and all his partners and a shout out to his son, Sam, who named the horse.”

Unraced since a third in the Del Mar Oaks (G1) in mid-August, Fluffy Socks rallied for second in Lake George (G2) at Saratoga two starts back. The bay lass won a pair of stakes last year, including the Jimmy Durante (G3) at Del Mar in her juvenile finale, and she notched her first win as a sophomore in the fifth start this season.

Fluffy Socks left the starting gate as the 4-1 third choice among seven runners, settling a few lengths off the pace in midpack. Higher Choice, a stablemate to the winner and the 6-5 favorite, hustled forward to show the way on a short lead through moderate fractions in :25.34, :50.15, and 1:14.15.

Advancing wide into the stretch, Fluffy Socks got up past Higher Truth in the final strides. Runaway Rumour closed on the far outside to make it an exciting three-way fray in deep stretch, but she could not catch Fluffy Socks, who stopped the teletimer in 1:48.48.

“Last time when I rode her at Del Mar she kept coming and coming and just missed,” said Rosario, who is closing in on Jerry Bailey’s single season record (55) with his 46th stakes win. “It looks like she’s getting better.”

“It seems like he’s making all the right decisions this season,” Brown said of Rosario. “He’s having a career year and I’m happy for him and happy to be in the winner’s circle with another graded stakes with him as he chases that record.”

Higher Truth wound up a neck back of Runaway Rumour in third. Our Flash Drive, Plum Ali, Third Draft, and Harajuku came next under the wire.

Fluffy Socks has now earned $430,880 from a 10-4-1-1 record. She is the first stakes winner from the Kitten’s Joy mare Breakfast Time, a daughter of the stakes-winning Capote mare Costume Designer.

Brown said the American Oaks (G1) at Santa Anita on Dec. 26 may be next.

“I’ll speak to the partners, but I would say it makes sense to keep going on her with in the American Oaks,” Brown said. “She already shipped well to California one time. I’d say that would be likely.”