Golden Award shines in G3 Shuvee; Mominou springs upset in Caress
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Summer Wind Equine’s well-bred Golden Award made the grade with a sparkling performance in Sunday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Shuvee, a nine-furlong test for fillies and mares, 3-years-old and up, at Saratoga Race Course.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Golden Award, by Medaglia d’Oro and out of the Arch mare Arch’s Gal Edith, is a half-sister to 2012 Grade 1 Kentucky Derby and Grade 1 Preakness winner I’ll Have Another.
Golden Award arrived at the Shuvee from a narrow nose defeat in the Allaire DuPont Distaff on May 17 at Pimlico, but would not be denied in the Shuvee under regular pilot Tyler Gaffalione as she stalked She’s a Julie through an opening quarter-mile in 25.24 seconds on the main track labeled fast.
Gaffalione urged Golden Award into gear down the back straight and took command from She’s a Julie, as the duo battled head and head through a half-mile in 50.24 and three-quarters in 1:13.88.
Wow Cat, the even-money mutuel favorite making her seasonal debut out of a rallying runner-up effort in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff, advanced three-wide through the final turn taking aim on the pacesetters.
Golden Award put away She’s a Julie as the field straightened away, opening up a 1 ¢-length advantage, and continued to find more as Wow Cat rallied in vain. Golden Award surged through the wire a 2 ™-length winner, stopping the clock in a final time of 1:49.64.
“The trip set up nicely. She broke alertly and put herself in a good position,” said Gaffalione. “She was kind of keen a little bit down the backside but we were going awfully slow, so I just let her out a little bit and put my hands down and she just kept reaching and reaching. When I asked her coming into the stretch, she really exploded and finished the job.”
She’s a Julie held on for third, three-quarters of a length in arrears of Wow Cat. Pink Sands and Forever Liesl completed the order of finish. Skeptic, Coach Rocks and Electric Forest were scratched.
Golden Award, bred in Kentucky by Harvey A. Clarke, banked $110,000 in victory while improving her record to four wins and three seconds from nine starts. She paid $8.50 for a $2 win ticket.
Mominou springs upset in $200K Caress
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Sean Shay’s Mominou, racing for the first time in nine weeks, led from start to finish under jockey Kendrick Carmouche to spring a 29-1 upset of Sunday’s $200,000 Caress at Saratoga Race Course.
The eighth running of the 5 ¢-furlong Caress for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up on the grass was the second of three stakes on a 13-race program.
Mominou’s first career stakes victory in five tries made Jimmy Toner the first trainer to win three editions of the Caress. Toner also captured back-to-back editions in 2014 with Free as a Bird and 2015 with Thieves Guild.
The winning time was 1:01.54 over a firm Mellon turf course. Mominou, a 5-year-old Florida-bred daughter of Twirling Candy, returned $61.50 on a $2 win bet.
“I initially looked at it and thought there’d be some speed in the race, which there was. But when I looked at it again, I said, ‘She could be the main speed.’ The only shot we were going to have was just to go for it,” Toner said. “When they turn into the lane, you always [say], ‘Here they come.’ But she had another gear and kicked in again. I was really proud of her.”
Mominou was hustled to the front out of the gate by Carmouche, blazing through an opening quarter-mile in 21.94 seconds while pressed by Factorofwon, and a half in 44.50 as Fire Key assumed the prompting spot in a tightly packed group behind the leader.
Carmouche and Mominou straightened for home in command as her rivals battled for position to mount a challenge, but Mominou had something left in the stretch and pulled clear to win by 1 ™ lengths over multiple stakes winner Fire Key. Grade 3 winner Morticia, sent off as the even-money favorite in a field of eight, was bottled up in traffic until shaking loose inside the sixteenth pole and finished in a dead-heat for third with Broadway Run.
Two-time Grade 3 winner Significant Form, Miss Gossip, Jc’s Shooting Star and Factorofwon completed the order of finish.
“I worked this filly last week and she worked so great,” Carmouche said. “Jimmy gave me the option of how I want to ride her and I figured the best way we could win was to take the race to them out of the gate. We broke good and she never relented. She was ready the whole way.
“I brought my mom and dad up from Louisiana for this, so this is extra special,” he added. “I have to thank Mr. Toner and Mr. Shay for the opportunity. We’ve been pretty lucky over the years, and we got a great trip today.”
Live racing will resume Wednesday with a 10-race card featuring three stakes, including the $75,000 Jonathan Kiser Novice steeplechase race in the opener at 12:50 p.m. Eastern. The New York Stallion Stakes Series Cab Calloway for state-bred 3-year-olds on the inner turf will be contested as Race 7 and the Grade 2, $200,000 Honorable Miss Handicap for fillies and mares going six furlongs will be Race 8.