Constellation stars in Ruthless
It wasn’t smooth sailing at the beginning, though, as Constellation broke out and herded Wave of Glory. That caused Kalabaka to shy out about two paths before being settled by jockey Aaron Gryder.
Meanwhile, Constellation had already taken command and led the way through splits of :23.57, :47.15 and :58.80. Wave of Glory moved up to challenge rounding the turn but Constellation easily scooted clear once again heading into the stretch.
Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. urged Constellation on and the filly opened up, eventually crossing under the wire 10 lengths clear while finishing six furlongs on the fast inner dirt in 1:10.89.
Kalabaka proved best of the rest, a half-length up on Mo d’Amour, who in turn had seven lengths to spare on a tiring Wave of Glory. Absatootly, Clipthecouponannie, Karen’s Silk and Lost Raven were all scratched.
Constellation has romped in her three wins now by 22 3/4 lengths. The Steve Asmussen trainee broke her maiden first out by 4 1/2 lengths during last year’s Saratoga meet and most recently captured the Furlough S. at Aqueduct by 8 1/4 lengths.
Sandwiched between those two wins were tries against graded rivals in which the chestnut daughter of Bellamy Road placed third in the Spinaway (G1) and second in the Matron (G2). Sunday’s victory improved her career record to 5-3-1-1, $309,800.
Constellation is out of the stakes-winning Not for Love mare For Royalty, making her a half-sister to stakes-placed Back Flip and from the same female line as Grade 1-winning full siblings Spun Sugar and Daaher.
Constellation photo courtesy of NYRA/Chelsea Durand/Adam Coglianese Photography
Toby Sheets, assistant trainer Constellation, winner: "The pressure's on when you're the favorite, (so) it's a relief and, of course, I'm happy for (Constellation). She's such a nice filly. She's very straightforward. She thinks she is the boss and we let her be the boss. We were kind of indecisive [about leaving her in New York], but the weather's been really nice, so that's helped a lot. We're just going to enjoy the win today and move on from there."
Irad Ortiz Jr., jockey Constellation, winner: "It was great. She was much the best today, she just broke great out of there and she was ready. She does it easy."