CCA Oaks results
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Saratoga Opening Day
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The field rounds the turn in the Shadwell Turf Mile with Cosmonaut out front and eventual winner Purim in the back.
Photos courtesy of EquiSportPhotos.com
The highlight event on the card was the $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) for older horses going 1 mile on the turf in preparation for the Netjets Breeders' Cup Mile. French 2000 Guineas winner Astronomer Royal was sent off as the lukewarm 3-1 favorite, making his first U.S. start in the field of nine over 31-10 second choice Shakis, winner of the Bernard Baruch, and 7-2 third choice Art Master, winner of the Poker at Belmont but 9th in the Woodbine Mile last out.
Purim (outside) catches Cosmonaut in the Shadwell Turf Mile
12-1 T.D. Vance was quickest out of the gate and led the field first time past the stands through a quarter in 23.64 while battling on the pace with 37-1 Spotsgone, who took over the lead on the backstretch after a half in 47.21. T.D. Vance tired after just half a mile, allowing Spotsgone to open up a 1 1/2 length lead on the far turn. However, 5-1 Cosmonaut, who had stalked the pacesetters early, came out four wide to take the lead at the top of the stretch through 3/4 in 1:23.17. Cosmonaut opened up a 2 1/2 length lead with an eighth of a mile to go, but 21-1 longshot Purim, who was sixth early, came out 5 wide into the stretch and closed with a rush to get up by a neck in 1:35.56. It was another 3 3/4 lengths back to late-running Shakis in third. Favorite Astronomer Royal stalked the pace in fourth throughout but showed no rally late, finishing sixth.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 3 Purim Theriot 43.80 16.20 9.00 7 Cosmonaut Leparoux 5.80 3.60 9 Shakis Garcia 3.20 Winning Time: 1:35.56 $2 Exacta 3-7 252.80 $2 Trifecta 3-7-9 914.60 $2 Superfecta 3-7-9-5 11,354.60
Purim after the race (left) and in the post parade (right). His trainer Thomas Proctor said, "I'm not one of those guys to run a horse (in the BC Mile) just to run him. He's Breeders' Cup eligible, so we'll see. He's got a little in the bank now."
His jockey Jamie Theriot, celebrating his first Grade 1 victory, said, "We broke good. Our plans were to stalk and save ground, and that's what we did. I never had to steady at all. I got the perfect clean trip. At the 1/8 pole I thought I would get there when I saw how close we were getting to the other horse on the lead, but (Cosmonaut) just kept digging in, digging in, and I was like, 'Hell, I might not get to him.' But then finally at the 1/16 pole my horse gave me a final surge and broke through."
Second place finisher Cosmonaut in the poast parade. The 5-1 fourth choice stalked the pace four wide early under Julien Leparoux, took the lead at the top of the lane, but could not hold off Purim in the final strides. The Patrick Biancone trainee improved his record to 6 wins, 5 seconds, and 1 third in 26 starts earning $826,557 for owner Flying Zee Stable.
Third place finisher Shakis in the paddock before the race. His trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said, "He had some traffic and the post position (9) didn't help us. I'm not sure he loved the turf course here. Horses either love it or hate it. I thought he ran well to be third, but no real excuses."
Vacare (inside) winning the 2007 First Lady Stakes over Precious Kitten.
Photos courtesy of EquiSportPhotos.com
80-1 outsider Honour Colony was allowed an uncontested 2 length lead early on, and she set fractions of 23.72 and 48.41 before Precious Kitten, who had settled in behind her in second, moved up to challenge for and take over the lead, getting 3/4 in 1:12.98. Precious Kitten held the lead to mid-stretch, but Vacare, who had stalked the pace in fourth the whole way, came out three wide into the lane and wore down Precious Kitten through the final 1/16 to prevail by 1/2 a length in 1:35.85. It was a long 3 1/4 lengths back to 8-1 Quite A Bride in third, and another 1/2 length to favorite Lady of Venice in fourth.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 5 Vacare Nakatani 7.80 4.00 3.40 4 Precious Kitten Bejarano 4.40 3.20 3 Quite a Bride Albarado 4.00 Winning Time: 1:35.85 $2 Exacta 5-4 38.00 $2 Trifecta 5-4-3 188.80 $2 Superfecta 5-4-3-6 358.60Results Chart
Vacare in the paddock before the race. Christophe Lorieul, assistant to winning trainer Christophe Clement said, "She's been very consistent. She was 4-for-4 last year and obviously loves Keeneland. We arrived here 4 days ago and she shipped well. It was a very good setup for us. There was enough speed on the inside and she was very relaxed. She was gutsy at the 1/8 pole and had enough at the end."
Her jockey Corey Nakatani said, "I was able to get in a really good spot, and she ran a great race. She really showed how much she likes Keeneland."
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