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Paola Queen and Luis Saez return after the winning the Test Stakes.
The co-feature on on Whitney day at Saratoga was the $500,000 Test Stakes (G1) for 3-year-old fillies sprinting 7 furlongs on the main track. Jersey Girl Stakes winner Kareena was the 6-5 favorite in the field of 7. In to challenge her included 5-2 second choice Off the Tracks, winner of the Mother Goose (G1), and 4-1 third choice Lewis Bay, second in the Mother Goose after finishing third in the Kentucky Oaks (G1).
Paola Queen closes on the far outsice in the stretch run of the Test Stakes.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 1 Paola Queen Saez 112.00 31.40 9.50 5 Lightstream Rosario 5.50 3.90 7 Off the Tracks Ortiz 3.00 Winning Time: 1:22.31 $2 Exacta 1-5 579.00 $2 Trifecta 1-5-7 1,682.00 $2 Superfecta 1-5-7-6 5,251.00
Left: Paola Queen in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Gustavo Delgado said, "I'm a grown man, and I cry. Thank you very much, I love all of Venezuela. This is a very important race for me. I'm very happy. The [fast] pace was very important for us. I'm happy, everybody is happy. This is my first Grade 1 in the United States."
Right: Paola Queen heads back to the barn. Winning jockey Luis Saez said, "She ran very good. I worked her a couple of times and she was doing awesome. Today she proved that she is a good filly. As the race was unfolding I checked behind and no one was coming. I saw Joel [Rosario aboard Lightstream] coming inside and I started to ride her harder and she responded to me."
Left: Second place finisher Lightstream returns after the race. Jockey Joel Rosario said, "I think she ran great. For a second, I thought I had won the race but [Paola Queen] came out of nowhere. The winner ran a very good race, it was a very good finish. I was happy with her trip, and the way [Lightstream] did it."
Right: Third place finisher Off the Tracks in the paddock. The Todd Pletcher trainee improved her record to 4 wins, 1 second, and 2 thirds in 7 starts, earning $535,594 for owners Newtown Anner Stud and J Stables.
Sixth place finisher and beaten favorite Kareenain the post parade. The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee has a record of 2 wins, 1 second, and 0 thirds in 4 starts, earning $139,000 for owner Godolphin Racing.
The $200,000 Waya Stakes (G3) featured 9 older fillies and mares going 1 1/2 miles around 3 turns of the inner turf course. River Memories Stakes winner Guapaza was the 7-2 favorite over 15-4 Desiree Clary, an allowance winner afte finishing 5th in the German Oaks (G1), and 4-1 Real Smart, winner of the Robert G. Dick Memorial (G3).
Jockey Kendrick Carmouche sent 8-1 Photo Call to the lead and she set fractions of 23.28, 48.15, 1:13.04, 1:37.89, and 2:01.87 while pressed by 7-1 Ball Dancing and stalked by 49-1 Vielsalm and Real Smart. At the top of the stretch Photo Call tired as Guapaza, 7 lengths off the pace in 6th early, came out 4 wide to take over the lead. 13-2 Suffised, 5th early, put in a 5 wide rally of her own but just missed as Guapaza held her off by a head in 2:25.96 over firm going. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to 21-1 Achnaha third.
Left: Guapaza in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Chad Brown said, "It's hard; it's very difficult here. You have to have the right people help you. We all work together as a team, me and my staff. [We have ] good horses, patient owners, and they're all in the different races on a different surfaces. When you try to set a plan up and hope for good weather and racing luck -- they are so many things that have to go your way. This last stretch a lot things have gone our way. We thrilled with today. Pretty much all of the horses fired today. There is a lot of planning that goes into each day here and each race. It feels good when a plan comes together."
Right: Guapaza heads out for the post parade. Winning jockey Javier Castellano said, "She was a little farther behind this time, usually she positions herself [closer], but they came out running a little bit quick and I thought that was my best shot, to get behind horses," Castellano said. "It was great; the way she did it was amazing. Usually, she falls into position and this time, to come from behind and the way she finished, those kind of horses you take advantage of. You never know when you can use that and give your horse the best shot."
Left: Second place finisher Suffused returns after the race. The Bill Mott trainee improved her record to 4 wins, 3 seconds, and 1 third in 12 starts, earning $226,019 for owner-breeder Juddmonte Farms.
Right: Third place finisher Achnaha in the post parade. The George Weaver trainee improved her record to 2 wins, 6 seconds, and 5 thirds in 22 starts, earning $215,156 for owner Sanford Bacon.
Kicking off the stakes quintet on Whitney Saturday was the $100,000 Lure Stakes for older horses going 1 1/16 miles on the Mellon turf. Makers 46 Mile (G1) 7th place finisher Shining Copper was the 9-4 favorite in the field of 7 over 11-4 second choice Ectot, 7th in the Prix du Conseil de Paris (G2) and 15-4 third choice Full Mast, 4th in the King Edward (G2) at Woodbine. Jockey Luis Saez sent 10-1 Solemn Tribute to the front first time by through fractions of 24.30, 47.82, and 1:11.31 while pressed by Shining Copper and stalked by Full Mast. Entering the stretch Solemn Tribute tired allowing Shining Copper to inherit the lead through 1 mile in 1:34.72. 9-1 Jay Gatxby rallied from 6th but Shining Copper held him off by a nose in 1:40.80. It was another nose back to Full Mast third to complete the 3-horse blanket finish. Just 1 1/2 lengths separated 1st through 5th.
Left: Shining Copper in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Chad Brown said, "Jose told me, 'I know that horse Solemn Tribute a little bit, I've been watching him, and if he's very aggressive I'd like to slip outside of him if you'll let me.' I said 'if the opportunity comes up on the first turn, you can,' and that's the plan he wanted to use, and he executed it beautifully. It was a tight finish there. I know this horse, and when he gets hooked in deep stretch. he's tough. We used him as a pace-maker last year and we learned that about him. He gives way grudgingly if he ever gives way. If you're ever going to have a horse on the inside fighting with good horses down to the wire, he's the horse you want."
Right: Owner Ken Ramsey leads Shining Copper to the winner's circle. Winning jockey Jose Ortiz said, In the first turn, I swung to the outside and got a good position. He was a bit keen on the backstretch but when I set him down, he gave me a good run. I talked about it with Chad and I told him the No. 4 horse had speed too and we agreed we were going to play the break. He can sit [back], but he's not a horse that can sit in a pack and explode in between horses. He can be on the lead or second in the clear and he'll make a run."
Left: Second place finisher Jay Gatsby heads out to the track before the race. The Jimmy Jerkens trainee improved his record to 4 wins, 5 seconds, and 1 third in 13 starts, earning $1912,672 for owner-breeder Joseph Allen.
Right: Third place finisher Full Mast in the paddock before the race. The Bill Mott trainee improved his record to 4 wins, 1 second, and 1 third in 8 starts, earning $408,355 for owner-breeder Juddmonte Farms.
Also on the card: The Whitney and De La Rose Stakes
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