Exotic West takes top honors in Aqueduct’s Top Flight Invitational

Daughter of Hard Spun rallies in the stretch to earn her first Stakes victory

Exotic West came with a furious rally down the center of the course to win the Listed Top Flight Invitational by three-quarters of a length over favored Battle Bling at Aqueduct on Sunday, 10 April. 

The four-year-old daughter of Hard Spun, who earned her first Stakes win with the victory, entered the Top Flight off a sharp allowance score last time out. 

Confidently ridden by jockey Javier Castellano, Exotic West rated just off the pace in third through the initial stages of the race. As the field entered the far turn, Exotic West was tipped out three-wide and asked for a bit more run by Castellano. The bay filly responded, charging up to engage the duo of Maiden Beauty and Frost Point (Frosted) for the lead.

Exotic West took command with a furlong to go, digging in while under a drive in the stretch. The Hard Spun filly had plenty left in the tank to hold off a late rally from Battle Bling to earn the victory. Frost Point held on gamely to save third.

Bred in Kentucky by Gary and Mary West Stables Inc., Exotic West is out of Miss Personality, a winning daughter of Broken Vow. In addition to Exotic West, Miss Personality has also produced the Stakes-placed gelding, Box Seat. Miss Personality is a half-sister to the fillies A Capela and Siciliana, both of which were Champions in Panama. Another half-sibling is the promising three-year-old Lucky Boss, a Stakes-placed son of Street Boss.

Hard Spun is coming off a successful year which was highlighted by Aloha West, winner of the G1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint and Silver State, winner of the G1 Met Mile. The stallion was also represented last year by Graded Stakes winners Summer in Saratoga (G3 Rood & Riddle Dowager Stakes) and Antoinette (G3 The Very One Stakes). In addition to Exotic West, Hard Spun is represented by additional 2022 Stakes winners, Green Light Go and My Philly Twirl.

Hard Spun is standing the 2022 breeding season at Jonabell Farm for $35,000, stands and nurses.