Makderah with Alan Garcia up heads for the winner's circle
The Saturday feature at Belmont Park this week was the $250,000 New York Breeders' Cup Stakes (G2). A field of just six older fillies and mares went 1 1/4 miles over the inner turf course, with Jade Queen sent off as the 5-4 favorite for trainer Todd Pletcher, despite coming into the race off three consecutive third place finishes, in the Garden City and Flower Bowl late last year and then the Steal A Kiss in May. In to challenge her were 5-2 second choice Makderah, a Shadwell Stable homebred who started her career in England and won her second U.S. start last time out a 5 3/4 length romp over the same course for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. 7-2 third choice Masseuse, winner of the Beaugay last out, rounded out the top three on the board.
First time by with For Always and Jade Queen out front
50-1 longest shot For Always was hustled to the front right away opening up a clear lead first time past the stands, getting the initial quarter in 24.09 over the firm course. Jade Queen moved up alongside her down the backstretch to stalk the pace through a half in 49.31 and 3/4 in 1:13.68. Turning for home, For Always tired and faded to eventualy finish last, as Jade Queen inherited the lead at the 1/4 pole through a mile in 1:37.43. However, Makderah, who was taken back early and was last most of the way, came out wide on the turn and passed everybody at the top of the stretch, drawing away to a convincing 4 length win over late-running Masseuse in 2:00.07. 7-1 Hostess was third while Jade Queen tired in the last 1/8 mile to finish fourth.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 8 Makderah Garcia 7.50 4.50 3.20 5 Masseuse Velasquez 5.70 3.50 1 Hostess Hill 3.70 Winning Time: 2:00.07 $2 Exacta 8-5 36.40 $2 Trifecta 8-5-1 130.50Results Chart
Makderah returns after the race. Her jockey Alan Garcia said, "I was happy with my position. She broke so great, but Kiaran told me to take her back. After that, I was waiting and waiting. When I asked her, she was gone. She just broke again. That was impressive"
Makderah in the winner's circle. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin is the middle of the 3 men on the left. McLaughlin said, "When you step up from a `two other than' to a Grade 2, you don't think you are going to see the same result. But it was exactly the same. It even looked like she won by the same amount of lengths that she won by last time. She was pretty impressive. Alan (Garcia) did a great job of getting her back off the pace early. I have to look ahead now. I haven't planned anything for her beyond this."
Second place finisher Masseuse leaves the walking ring before the race. Masseuse improved her career record to 4 wins, 2 seconds, and 2 thirds in 11 starts with earnings of $262,610 for trainer James Toner and owners Patricia and Ronald Nicholson. She sat off the pace in fourth early and put in a good 3-wide rally to get up for second.
Third place finisher Hostess heads for the starting gate. Hostess raced close to the pace along the rail most of the way but could not improve position in the stretch. She is still winless in stakes company, but did improve her record to 2 wins, 3 seconds, and 5 thirds in 12 starts with earnings of $147,734 for owner William Clifton Jr. and trainer H. James Bond.
Fourth place finisher and beaten favorite Jade Queen before the race. Her jockey Garrett Gomez said, "Even though I was in a good spot, she was just never comfortable. It seemed like she was wanting to get it on too much. At the 1/2 mile pole, I let it out a notch to see if she would get more comfortable, but as soon as I asked her to run, she just fell apart on me."
The undercard feature on Saturday was the $65,000 She Rides Tonight Stakes for New York-bred 3-year-old fillies sprinting 6 furlongs on the main track. 8-1 Street Sass dropped far back early, well off the pace of 5-1 Brown Eyed Belle, then came wide on the far turn, passing the whole field through the stretch to win going away by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:09.71. 2-1 favorite Cammy's Choice stalked the pace in fourth, came out three wide on the turn but was no match for the winner, finishing second.
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