On a sunny day this past February at Hallandale Beach, Florida’s Gulfstream Park, a field of eight Thoroughbred racehorses were guided toward the starting gate by tiny jockeys perched atop their backs. The weather was particularly welcoming for a late winter day, and the track was listed as fast–a term used to describe the track footing as dry, even, and at peak efficiency. The field of contenders, all three-year-old fillies, were aiming for the top prize of the Grade 2 Davona Dale Stakes.
The Thoroughbreds filed calmly into the gates and barely fidgeted as they awaited the start–except for one. A strong bay filly of almost 16 hands (64 inches at her back) in the third stall of the gate challenged her tiny steel confinement for a brief moment. Onlyforyou was her name. She reared and pranced nervously, causing her five-foot-one, 115-pound jockey, Javier Castellano, to dismount until she calmed down. Her trainer, Todd Pletcher, watched the outburst from among the crowd with a fleeting moment of disappointment. Little did anyone know, Onlyforyou’s eruption was just a preview of the power she would unleash when she would break from the gates.