Cavorting romps in Prioress
One day prior, Stonestreet saw Rachel Alexandra’s Bernardini filly, Rachel’s Valentina, scamper to an effortless victory in the Spinaway S. (G1) at Saratoga.
Under a smart ride from jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., Cavorting settled into an outside tracking spot in midpack after breaking best of all on top. That left Ekati’s Phaeton to take command up from and the dark bay miss proceeded to set splits of :22.35 and :45.37 while pressed by Sky Gold, Tricky Zippy and Promise Me Silver to her outside.
Meanwhile, Cavorting was in the perfect spot to pounce while staying well clear of the rail. As the four front runners lined up rounding the turn, Ortiz niggled Cavorting and the sophomore miss took off.
She easily passed the early leaders and powered home a three-length winner, stopping the clock in 1:09.47 for six furlongs over the fast main track as the even-money favorite.
Cavorting further cemented her case as one of the favorites for the October 31 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) at Keeneland. The Kiaran McLaughlin pupil returned off a four-month hiatus to take the Jersey Girl S. at Belmont Park but really began her Breeders’ Cup preparations with a 2 1/2-length score in the Test S. (G1) at the Spa on August 8.
The biggest question following the Prioress was whether Cavorting would train up to the Filly & Mare Sprint or go for the last of three races on the “Win & You’re In” schedule to offer an automatic berth into the marquee race. That would be the Thoroughbred Club of America S. going six furlongs on October 3 at Keeneland.
That contest not only offers up a free berth to the Breeders’ Cup, it also gives runners an opportunity to try out Keeneland’s main track before the big day.
However, McLaughlin nixed that idea probably before the filly even got back to the barn.
"We'll train her up to the Breeders' Cup from here because she likes a little more space between races," he stated.
Cavorting might have seen a familiar face in the Thoroughbred Club of America S. after Bar of Gold ran second to her yet again on Sunday. The John Kimmel-trained dark bay filled that same spot in the Test last out and has shown a definite liking for shorter distances after two attempts stretching out.
She’ll probably like not having to face Cavorting again if her connections decide to send her to the Keeneland Fall Meet, but that doesn’t stop a future meeting.
Bar of Gold may not have been able to catch Cavorting in their last pair but, as the saying goes, “third time’s the charm” and that third time could still come at Keeneland even if they don’t meet in the Thoroughbred Club of America.
"Last time she broke a little slow but we were confident in the filly," Irad Ortiz Jr. said. "Kiaran said, 'Let her break and be wherever she's comfortable.' She broke sharp, so that helped me. I let the speed go and followed the speed. When I asked her, she was there. I give credit to the trainer; she's not an easy horse to train. She's tough in the morning and he really does a great job with her. She's doing unbelievable right now."
"Great trip," Kiaran McLaughlin said. "She broke so sharp and Irad rode her great. She loves it up here at Saratoga, as we all do; but she's 3-for-3 up here so this was great. She was sitting close from the start and there was enough speed up front so it worked out well. We'll train her up to the Breeders' Cup from here because she likes a little more space between races."
Cavorting photo courtesy of NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography