Celestine is doing nothing but getting better with age. She had only one start as a 2-year-old and didn’t break her maiden until her fourth attempt in the spring of her sophomore season.
Once she found the winner’s circle though, she apparently liked the view and reeled off three victories in a row. She won in her first stakes attempt, taking the Sanibel Island Stakes at Gulfstream last year, then followed that with a pair of stakes at Belmont Park — the Wait a While and Wild Applause Stakes.
After an uncharacteristic flat attempt in the Grade 2 Mrs. Revere Stakes at Churchill Downs last November, she’s not been worse than third.
She notched her first graded stakes with a victory in the Grade 2 Honey Fox Stakes at Gulfstream, then topped that in taking the Grade 1 Longines Just A Game Stakes at Belmont in June. In both those scores, she showed both early speed, then an extra burst of octane at the finish.
"It was a dream trip," said rider Junior Alvarado of the Just A Game win. "With this kind of filly, she has speed and she can stalk a little bit, too. She broke very beautifully and after that, I was just sitting on her. I waited until we turned for home to ask her. It was like everything was just going perfect.”
The 4-year-old daughter of Scat Daddy prepped for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf with a solid third-place finish behind Photo Call and defending Breeders’ Cup Mile victor Tepin in the First Lady Stakes at Keeneland Oct. 8.