Paola Queen stages 55-1 upset in Test

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Jen Caldwell

August 6th, 2016

Coming into Saturday’s $500,000 Test Stakes (G1) at Saratoga, the best Grupo Seven C Stable’s Paola Queen had been able to do against stakes rivals was a second in the April 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) while making her black-type debut.

The Flatter filly followed with well-beaten unplaced runs in her only other two stakes, the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and Acorn Stakes (G1), but turned it all around in the seven-furlong Test with a 55-1 upset.

Ridden by Luis Saez, Paola Queen bided her time in fourth early as Kareena and Off the Tracks dueled through swift early splits of :21.74 and :43.50. The pace took its toll on 6-5 favorite Kareena and she backed up as Off the Tracks continued on up front while facing a new challenger in Lewis Bay.

Paola Queen began her run four wide into the stretch and continued to make up ground on Off the Tracks, who by this point had been confronted by Lightstream. That filly appeared the winner for a moment but Paola Queen just got up in the shadow of the wire to secure the three-quarter length victory in a final time of 1:22.32.

Paola Queen was sent off the 55-1 longest shot in the seven-filly field and paid $112 for the win. Lightstream stuck her neck in front of Off the Tracks to take second, while Lewis Bay followed in fourth by another four lengths. One True Kiss, Kareena and Kinsley Kisses completed the order of finish.

Paola Queen took four tries to break her maiden, improving her finishing position with each start until finally getting the job done on February 14 at Gulfstream Park. She pressed the pace throughout the Gulfstream Park Oaks in her first start facing stakes company and at a route of ground, ending up a nice second that day.

The Gustavo Delgado trainee was outmatched when ninth in the Kentucky Oaks and finished a one-paced fifth in the Acorn in her two races since, but turned it all around with this cut back to seven furlongs. Paola Queen has now earned $427,490 to go along with a 8-2-2-1 career mark.

Bred in Kentucky by CFP Thoroughbreds LLC, Paola Queen was purchased for $180,000 as a Keeneland September yearling. The bay miss is the first registered stakes scorer out of the Grade 3-placed multiple stakes-winning Kafwain mare Kadira.

Paola Queen’s second dam is Grade 3 heroine Raw Gold, and this female family also boasts Grade/Group 1 scorers Point Ashley, Hurry Harriet II and Load the Cannons.

Paola Queen photo courtesy of NYRA/Chelsea Durand/Adam Coglianese Photography


Luis Saez, jockey Paola Queen, winner: "I feel very happy. She ran very good. I worked her a couple of times and she was doing awesome, and 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 on Lightstream) coming inside and I started to ride her harder and she responded to me."

Gustavo Delgado, trainer Paola Queen, winner: "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."