Wonderment lives up to name in Bourbonette Oaks

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Jen Caldwell

April 2nd, 2016

Wonderment suffered her first loss last out while making her three-year-old bow over Aqueduct’s inner dirt, but the Cosmonaut filly returned to the winner’s circle on a blustery Saturday at Turfway Park.

With Cornelio Velasquez in the irons, the gray miss took command of the $100,000 Bourbonette Oaks (G3) from the start, setting splits of :23.25, :47.07, 1:13.05 and 1:25.96. Marquee Miss and American Doll were closest to Wonderment in the tightly packed bunch and maintained those spots down the backstretch.

Wonderment kicked into another gear upon hitting the stretch and began drawing off from Marquee Miss. She opened up by 3 3/4 lengths on the wire to stop the clock in 1:39.04 for a mile over the synthetic Polytrack.

Sent off the 4-1 co-second choice, Wonderment paid $10 to her backers. Inconclusive came with a furious rally from last to just nose out Marquee Miss for second, who in turn had a length to spare on Miss Meteor in fourth.

Wonderment took home 50 points toward a starting berth in the May 6 Kentucky Oaks (G1) as the Bourbonette Oaks was the final race in the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series to offer 50-20-10-5 points to the respective top four.

The Kenny McPeek trainee was getting first-time Lasix to help her chances on Saturday and now sports a 4-3-0-1, $181,160 career record. Campaigned by Magdalena Racing and Chris Sterbenz, Wonderment made her debut a 1 3/4-length victory last July 9 at Belmont Park.

The New York-bred lass returned 10 days later to take the Lynbrook S. at that same venue to conclude her juvenile campaign, and opened 2016 with a third-place run in the February 20 Franklin Square S. over Aqueduct’s inner track.

Wonderment is the first registered stakes winner out of the Three Wonders mare A Wonder She Is, and comes from the same female family as multiple Grade 1-scoring millionaire Videogenic as well as Grade 1 hero Valid Video.

Wonderment photo courtesy of Wendy Wooley/EquiSport Photos


Cornelio Velasquez, jockey Wonderment, winner: “My filly was coming off a layoff in New York and she needed her race last time. She wanted to go to the lead and we had a lot of horse coming down the top of the stretch. She likes the distance and the synthetic track and she wanted to go easy on the lead.”

Alan Shell, assistant trainer Wonderment, winner: “That last race (the Franklin Square at Aqueduct on February 20) she was really sharp, and her gallops have been getting stronger and stronger, and her breezes have been so sharp, we were confident that she would like the route of ground.

“We work a lot of horses in company, young horses like her, but we can’t really work her in company. We probably spend more time in the morning trying to slow her down because we don’t want her to do too much. She used that speed today.”

Florent Geroux, jockey Inconclusive, second: “I was too far off the pace, for some reason I couldn’t keep up, but she finished really good. I wasn’t going to catch the winner, but the farther the distance, the better for her.”