Cindy's Horse Racing Website Index
Latest Articles

 Hong Kong Cup Results
 Hong Kong Jockey Championship
 Cigar Mile Day
 Hollywood Derby
 Hollywood Turf Cup

Justify Triple Crown Gear

2007 Gazelle Stakes and Noble Damsel Handicap

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin leads Lear's Princess down Victory Lane after winning the Gazelle

     Noble Damsel Handicap
     Matron & Futurity Stakes

Date: 09/15/2007

The only Grade 1 event in the United States this weekend was the $250,000 Gazelle Stakes (G1) for 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/8 miles around one turn of the main track at Belmont Park. An announced attendance of 7,361 was on hand to witness the return to the track of Belmont Stakes winning filly Rags to Riches, who had been unraced since due to illness. The Todd Pletcher trainee was sent off as the 2-5 favorite in a short field of just 5. Kiaran McLaughlin trainee Lear's Princess was the 2-1 second choice, coming off two close runner-up finishes in Grade 1 competition, the Coaching Club American Oaks at Belmont and the Alabama at Saratoga. Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks winner Tough Tiz's Sis was the 11-1 third choice, coming off a seventh place finish in the Alabama.

Lear's Princess and Rags to Riches duel down the stretch with Tough Tiz's Sis behind
15-1 shot Dorm Fever went to the lead exiting the chute and battled with Tough Tiz's Sis to her outside through fractions of 24.07, 47.08, and 1:11.20 with Rags to Riches looming large on the far outside another 1/2 length off the pace. Turning for home, jockey John Velazquez asked Rags to Riches to move up to the front, which she did easily, taking over the lead at the top of the stretch. With a furlong to go, after a mile in 1:35.46, she stubbornly held onto the lead but Lear's Princess, who had raced in fourth early, was quickly closing the gap. The pair battled through the final 1/16 but Lear's Princess dug in late to pull ahead by a half a length at the line to pull off the mild upset in a time of 1:47.86 over the fast track. It was 2 lengths back to Tough Tiz's Sis in third.

Pgm  Horse              Jockey         Win   Place  Show
 1   Lear's Princess    Coa           6.20    2.30  2.10
 5   Rags to Riches     Velazquez             2.10  2.10
 3   Tough Tiz's Sis    Bejarano                    2.40

Winning Time:  1:47.86

$2 Exacta 1-5                10.80
$2 Trifecta 1-5-3            31.00
Results Chart

Lear's Princess in the winner's circle. Her trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said, "It worked out great. Eibar is riding with a lot of confidence. I didn't think we would ever be outside of Rags to Riches, but we were and it worked out great. She deserved to win a Grade 1. I hate that we had to beat Rags to Riches, in a way, but that gives much more credit to our filly. The only worry with putting the blinkers on today was that she might get a little rank. We were talking about it, and she is such a classy filly and she does everything right, so we decided to put them on. Rags to Riches ran great, which was good for that team, because there has been a lot of pressure on them. We'll go straight to the Breeders' Cup Distaff."

Lear's Princess returns after the race. Her jockey Eibar Coa, who won 2 of the 4 stakes races on the card, said, "I really had a lot of confidence in her. She closed all right. She's overcome a lot. She's proved she belongs with the best fillies. She was just great today. I think she was more professional with the blinkers. Before, she used to switch leads and look around. Today, she was a little more focused."

Second place finisher and beaten favorite Rags to Riches in the paddock before the race. Her trainer Todd Pletcher said, "She didn't run a bad race. Obviously, the winner has been knocking on the door in some big races, and she was the one we feared. It has been well documented that we haven't had a real smooth three months since the Belmont. I'd say that some missed workouts, some temperatures and this and that from June 9 to today hurt us inside of the 1/16 pole. The filly got beat a neck, giving the winner 7 pounds and she hasn't run in 3 months."

Her jockey John Velazquez said, "She had a lot of time off. (Lear's Princess) had been running the whole time. She just got a little bit tired. She did everything good until she got to the 1/16 pole. She just got tired."

Rags to Riches returns after the race. On Sunday morning, it was announced that Rags to Riches suffered a hairline fracture to her right front pastern during the race. Trainer Todd Pletcher said, "The injury is not career ending, and she is expected to make a full recovery. It appears as though she sustained the injury during the stretch run. When she switched to the right lead, she came off the bridle and lugged in a bit. Though she cooled out fine following the race she appeared to be slightly off this morning. Subsequent X-rays discovered the hairline fracture. She is resting comfortably and will ship to Ashford Stud tomorrow where she will receive six weeks of stall rest to give the fracture time to heal. At the conclusion of her convalescence she will be re-x-rayed to determine when she will resume training. She will not race again until 2008."

Third place finisher Tough Tiz's Sis heads out for the post parade.

Dance Away Capote start to draw away in the stretch
On the undercard, the filly and mare turf division competed in the $100,000 Noble Damsel Handicap (G3). A field of ten older fillies and mares traveled 1 mile on the Widener turf course, with Lighthouse Stakes winner Pommes Frites sent off as the lukewarm 3-1 favorite, exiting a 4th place finish in the Ballston Spa at Saratoga. Also in the field was 7-2 second choice Astronomia, winner of an allowance at Saratoga last time out and making only her second U.S. start after racing in Australia and England, and 5-1 third choice Fantastic Shirl, winner of the De La Rose Stakes at Saratoga.

17-1 Rahy's Appeal battled through the first half mile down the backstretch with 7-1 Bayou's Lassie through fractions of 22.98 and 46.19 before Rahy's Appeal stopped badly to eventually come home last. Bayou's Lassie inherited the front and led the pack around the turn, getting 3/4 in 1:10.67, with Pommes Frites stalking her in second, but the hot pace up front set the race up for the closers. 9-1 Dance Away Capote, who was 9th down the backstretch, came out four wide into the lane and charged to the front when asked by jockey Alan Garcia. She took over the lead at the 3/16 pole, and although Fantastic Shirl put in a tremendous rally on the outside from last place, she was left with too much ground to make up as Dance Away Capote cruised under the line 4 1/2 lengths clear in 1:34.82 over the firm course. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back to favorite Pommes Frites, who was in contention the whole way but could not improve position late.

Pgm  Horse              Jockey         Win   Place  Show
 9   Dance Away Capote  Garcia       20.40    9.30  5.80
 8   Fantastic Shirl    Desormeaux            6.20  3.70
10   Pommes Frites      Bridgmohan                  3.40

Winning Time:  1:34.82

$2 Exacta 9-8                99.50
$2 Trifecta 9-8-10          325.50
$2 Superfecta 9-8-10-3    5,440.00
Results Chart

Dance Away Capote in the winner's circle. Her trainer Barclay Tagg (far left) said, "She has to have things go her own way. She got that today. She came a bit wide and got spun off the rail. I thought she would have plenty left at the top of the stretch. The speed came back today. Usually, in a mile race, they'll go a little faster up front. She was so far behind early, I did have my doubts. She's a lovely filly. Grass is probably a little easier on her. I don't know where we will go next."

Her jockey Alan Garcia said, "The pace was very fast. I just tried to keep her comfortable. She really took off and ran hard when I asked her."

Second place finisher Fantastic Shirl in the post parade.

Third place finisher and beaten favorite Pommes Frites returns after the race. 3-1 favorite Pommes Frites raced with the pace 3 wide early under new rider Shaun Bridgmohan, chased the leaders into the stretch but came up empty late, holding third place. The Bill Mott trainee improved her record to 9 wins, 2 seconds, and 3 thirds in 21 starts, earning $554,316 for owner-breeder Haras Santa Maria de Araras.

Back to Horse-Races.Net main page

Want to keep up with what's new on this site?
Sign up for my weekly newsletter here.

On the Forum:

©1994-2018,  Cindy Pierson Dulay   Privacy Policy   About Us   Search   Site Map   Add a Link   Advertisee   Suggest to a friend   RSS Feed   Follow on Twitter