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Cavorting heads to the winner's circle after the Test Stakes.
The co-feature on on Whitney day was the $500,000 Test Stakes (G1) for 3-year-old fillies sprinting 7 furlongs on the main track. Cavorting was sent off as the 5-2 favorite in the field of 10 off her win in the Jersey Girl Stakes. In to challenge her included 7-2 second choice By the Moon, second in the Acorn (G1) last out, and 9-2 third choice Angela Renee, 6th in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) before 5th in the Wild Applause.
Down the stretch in the Test Stakes.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 2 Cavorting Ortiz Jr. 7.60 4.80 3.20 9 Bar of Gold Lezcano 12.20 6.40 3 By the Moon Ortiz 3.80 Winning Time: 1:22.81 $2 Exacta 2-9 92.50 $2 Trifecta 2-9-3 530.00 $2 Superfecta 2-9-3-1 2,993.00
Left: Cavorting in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said, "I thought it would be a faster pace early, but it worked out well. I knew she was running and was hoping she would get space to run. She normally doesn't like a lot of dirt in her face but she was covered in dirt today. Irad rode a great race and she ran huge. She deserves a Grade 1 win and she got it. She's a very nice filly."
Right: Cavorting in the post parade. Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. said, "I had the perfect trip. The trainer told me before the race to relax her and stay steady in the back. We had a strong pace in the front and when we turned the corner, I just let her go."
Left: Second place finisher Bar of Gold crossing the finish line. Jockey Jose Lezcano said, "I got a pretty good trip. She broke really good and I got the position I wanted, second the whole way. When I asked her, she gave me a pretty good kick. The other filly came and ran past us. I think we can ask her for more, she ran an unbelievable race. This was the first time I rode her and she gave me a great race."
Right: Third place finisher By the Moon heads out for the post parade. The 7-2 second choice raced 4 lengths off the pace early under Jose Ortiz then passed tiring horses to get third beaten 4 1/4 lengths. The Michelle Nevin trainee improved her record to 3 wins, 3 seconds, and 1 third in 9 starts, earning $690,440 for owner-breeder Samantha Siegel (Jay Em Ess Stable).
Closing out the stakes quintet on Saturday was the $200,000 Waya Stakes (G3) for older fillies and mares going 1 1/2 miles around 3 turns of the inner turf course. Danza Cavallo was sent off as the 5-2 favorite in the field of 11 off her 5th place finish in the Gamely (G1). In to challenge her included 7-2 second choice Eastern Belle, second in the New York Stakes (G2) and 9-2 third choice Goldy Espony, winner of the River Memories.
Jockey Kendrick Carmouche sent Goldy Espony to the lead and she set easy fractions of 25.03, 50.79, 1:16.54, and 1:42.16 while stalked by Danza Cavallo. Entering the stretch Goldy Espony opened up a 4 1/2 length lead through 10f in 2:06.63. Eastern Belle, last early, put in a rally but Goldy Espony cruised to a 3 1/4 length win in 2:29.04. It was a neck back to 12-1 White Rose third, while favorite Danza Cavallo faded to 10th.
Left: Goldy Espony in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Chad Brown said, "Kendrick (Carmouche) rode a similar race last time in a stakes at Belmont and he got away easy. He had a plan when he came to the paddock, he was going to try to do the same thing and he did. He pulled it off again. He just set really easy fractions and she had plenty left coming home. Those fractions were so easy early that she turned it into a sprint home. She's a filly with a lot of quality that if you give her a head start, she's going to be tough to run down.
Right: Second place finisher Eastern Belle returns after the race. The 7-2 second choice was last early under Jose Lezcano then rallied to get second beaten 3 1/4 lengths. The Graham Motion trainee improved her record to 1 win 6 seconds, and 2 thirds in 10 starts, earning $189,831 for owner Antoinette Oppenheimer.
Left: Third place finisher White Rose in the back of the pack first time by. The 12-1 shot raced 8th under Shaun Bridgmohan then rallied to get third beaten 3 1/2 lengths. The Bill Mott trainee improved her record to 5 wins, 4 seconds, and 3 thirds in 23 starts, earning $438,663 for owners Jake Ballis and Rashard Lewis.
Right: Tenth place finisher and beaten favorite Danza Cavallo in the post parade. The 5-2 choice stalked the pace under Irad Ortiz Jr. but tired entering the stretch to finish 10th beaten 9 1/4 lengths. The Chad Brown trainee has a record of 4 wins, 4 seconds, and 2 thirds in 15 starts, earning $196,535 for owners Michael Dubb, Sheep Pond Partners, Bethlehem Stables, and Elkstone Group.
The first stakes race on Saturday was the $100,000 Lure Stakes for older horses going 1 1/16 miles on the Mellon turf. Forbidden Apple Stakes 4th place finisher Reload was sent off as the 7-10 favorite in the field of 5 over 2-1 Charming Kitten, an allowance winner last out, and 5-1 Under Control, 2nd in allowance company. Reload dueled with Charming Kitten through fractions of 23.43, 47.23, and 1:10.71 while stalked by Under Control. Reload gained a short lead at the 1/8 pole through 1 mile in 1:33.72 but Under Control rallied 3 wide to win going away by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:39.50. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back to Reload third.
Winning trainer Graham Motion said, "He had a great trip. I said to my wife down the backside, 'I don't know how he's going to run but I love where he's at.' He ran super. This horse gets better as he gets older. Irad said he was waiting on horses, so he did it pretty comfortably in the end. It's huge. It's huge for all of us: for Live Oak, for myself, and for the horse. It's hard to win races up here, let alone stakes races."
Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. said, "You know the last time my horse got in a little trouble, but then I got the opportunity to ride him back. The two horses in front of me, I just followed them right through. I got a great trip. I was trying to get clear on the stretch and my horse responded and he was there. It was a weird race, not too many horses. You have to put a little pressure on Reload if you want to win. That's why I think it was better for my horse today."
Left: Second place finisher Charming Kitten in the paddock before the race. The 2-1 second choice stalked the pace under John Velazquez but finished second beaten 1 1/4 lengths. The Todd Pletcher trainee improved his record to 6 wins, 6 seconds, and 2 thirds in 22 starts, earning $790,250 for owner-breeder Ken and Sarah Ramsey.
Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Reload heads out to the track before the race. The 7-10 favorite set the pace under Javier Castellano but faded to finish third beaten 3 lengths. The Shug McGaughey trainee improved his record to 6 wins, 4 seconds, and 2 thirds in 20 starts, earning $398,504 for owner-breeder Phipps Stable.
Also on the card: The Whitney and De La Rose Stakes
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