Include Betty refuses to be left out in Mother Goose

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Jen Caldwell

June 28th, 2015

Saturday’s Mother Goose S. (G1) at Belmont Park turned into a tour de force, but not for the expected fillies.

The 1 1/16-mile contest showcased the return of Eskenformoney (Eskendereya) off a troubled 10th-placing in the May 1 Kentucky Oaks (G1), and also featured Wonder Gal (Tiz Wonderful) seeking just her second career win following a nice third in the Acorn S. (G1) at the track on June 6.

Wonder Gal was made the 7-2 favorite and settled into a stalking spot just behind the top four while about five wide down the backstretch. Eskenformoney followed her in the next flight of horses while also wide.

And then there was Include Betty, who loped along in the rear of the 10-filly field nearly 14 lengths off the lead early.

A blistering pace had developed up front thanks to 57-1 longshot Hot City Girl (City Zip), who posted opening split of :22 3/5 and :45 2/5. Eskenformoney tried to close into that pace nearing the turn, but it was pretty clear the Todd Pletcher trainee was spinning her wheels.

One who was coming hard and fast, though, was Include Betty. The chestnut miss split rivals and then angled to the outside entering the turn, all the while making up ground on the leaders. She easily caught up and found herself five wide rounding the turn and heading into the stretch.

Drayden Van Dyke continued urging Include Betty and the filly responded by drawing off to give her young rider just his second Grade 1 score, and his first on dirt. The duo first teamed up in the Black-Eyed Susan S. (G2) on May 15 at Pimlico, running second on that occasion, and romped home to seal the deal in the Mother Goose.

Wonder Gal just got her nose down on the wire to take second over Chide (Blame), who was forced widest of all on the turn but still reputed herself well in this spot while making her stakes bow. Eskenformoney found herself finishing in a dead-heat for fifth with the early pacesetter.

Include Betty was no slouch heading into this race and proved best two races after a troubled eighth in the Kentucky Oaks. Prior to that, the Tom Proctor pupil captured the Fantasy S. (G3) at Oaklawn Park and Suncoast S. at Tampa Bay Downs.

In fact, the Mother Goose was Include Betty’s sixth start at a different track from 10 career races. The sophomore lass has proven her versatility and talent, and it’ll be exciting to see what she does next.

Also on Saturday, Sarah Sis (Sharp Humor) got back to her winning ways in the Iowa Oaks (G3) at Prairie Meadows. The Ingrid Mason trainee led all the way home in the 8 1/2-furlong affair to just hold by a nose on the wire from Pangburn (Congrats).

Sarah Sis appears destined for shorter contests now, something her trainer backed up after the race. Pangburn, on the other hand, was just getting going late when the wire hit.

That Kenny McPeek charge found herself blocked all the way in the back of the pack early, but once she got some running room came flying down the center of the track. Pangburn, who was getting Lasix added for the first time, did well at Oaklawn earlier this season and could continue to improve.

Later on the night at Churchill Downs, the Debutante saw Cosmic Evolution (Proud Citizen) earn her first career score in style.

The Lon Wiggins-conditioned juvenile miss held sway by 1 1/2 lengths over even-money favorite Adhara (Cowboy Cal) and could either be headed to bigger and better things at Saratoga or stay in Kentucky while waiting for the Golden Rod (G2) and Pocahontas (G2) in the fall under the Twin Spires.

Photo: Include Betty (NYRA/Chelsea Durand/Adam Coglianese Photography)