LEXINGTON, Ky. — Malathaat, last year’s champion three-year-old filly, got her four-year-old campaign off to a winning start Friday when taking the $300,000 Doubledogdare S. (G3) at Keeneland for Shadwell Stable, trainer Todd Pletcher, and jockey John Velazquez.
The 3-10 favorite in a field of six fillies and mares, Malathaat bided her time in fourth as Lady Mystify sped off to an uncontested lead down the backside. Velazquez tried to time Malathaat’s bid on the far turn just right, but found himself hitting the front in upper stretch a bit sooner than he wanted.
“We know when she gets to the lead, she gets to waiting,” Velazquez said. “It was a good comeback for her.”
Malathaat held 2021 Doubledogdare winner Bonny South safe at the end by three parts of a length and covered 1 1/16 miles over a fast track in 1:44.58. She paid $2.60.
Bonny South crossed the wire one length ahead of Lady Mystify and Super Quick, who finished in a dead heat for third. The order of finish was rounded out by Audrey’s Time and Crazy Beautiful.
Pletcher attributed Malathaat’s presence in the Doubledogdare to timing, as well as to the fact Keeneland’s hosting of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) in November.
“She was ready. We didn’t want to overdo it for her first start of the year, and we had it in the back of our minds not only that she won the Ashland (G1) here, but (this year’s) Breeders’ Cup is here as well,” he said.
Malathaat has now won seven times in nine starts for earnings of $1,918,825. Victorious in all three starts at two, including the Demoiselle (G2) and Tempted S. at Aqueduct, she added the Ashland, Kentucky Oaks (G1), and Alabama (G1) during her championship campaign.
Malathaat’s only setbacks to date include a tactical loss in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) by a head, and a half-length third in an upset-laden edition of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Del Mar in her 2021 finale.
Bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet and sold as a Keeneland September yearling for $1.05 million, Malathaat is a daughter of Curlin and the Grade 1-winning Dreaming of Julia, herself a daughter of A.P. Indy and the Grade 1-winning Dream Rush.