TDN RISING STAR STATUS FOR DAUGHTER OF FIRST DEFENCE

Taken from the Thoroughbred Daily News:

It’s been an embarrassment of riches for Bill Mott at the Gulfstream meet.  Hitting at a 27% rate going into Saturday’s card, the Hall of Famer has now unleashed a trio of “TDN Rising Stars” at the stand.

Besilu Stable’s Tapicat (Tapit) garnered the distinction when she secured her second turf tally of the meet Jan. 9, and there was no denying the promise of Donald Dizney’s Calistoga (Speightstown) when she blew the doors off a six-furlong heat on debut three days later. Close Hatches (FIRST DEFENCE)  showed an upbeat work tab, which included a :59 1/5 bullet over the strip Jan. 14, and that she was backed down to 3-1 co-favoritism considering her trainer’s patient reputation here proved prescient.  Not showing much speed early, the dark bay found her way to the rail well off an opening quarter in :22.60.  She came alive entering the turn, and started picking off horses with alarming ease to challenge for the front while spinning for or five wide coming into the lane. Her foes simply couldn’t match Close Hatches’s kick, and she reported home a facile seven-length victoress in a performance reminiscent of her champion stablemate Royal Delta (Empire Maker)’s unveiling at Belmont in 2010.

Date: 27 January 2013