Turbulent Descent flashed her true ability when she ran away from the field in the $250,000 Test Stakes (gr. I) as the 9-10 favorite at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 6 (VIDEO).
Under a hand ride from jockey David Flores for Blinkers On Racing Stable and partners, Turbulent Descent collared front-running Roman Treasure in upper stretch and negotiated the remainder of the trip without a serious threat. She won by 3 3/4 lengths.
Trained by Mike Puype, the daughter of Congrats --Roger's Sue, by Forestry, defeated seven 3-year-old filly rivals while completing the seven-furlong event in 1:24.17 over a main track rated fast.
Bred in Florida by Ocala Stud, Turbulent Descent earned her third grade I victory. The bay filly, earning her sixth win in eight starts, was a $160,000 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. purchase as a 2-year-old in April 2010.
Pomeroys Pistol, who vied with American Lady for the early lead, came on again for second with Roman Treasure finishing third.
The Southern California-based Turbulent Descent was coming off a well-beaten second as an odds-on choice to It's Tricky in the one-mile Acorn Stakes (gr. I) on a muddy Belmont Park track June 11.
"She'll take on any horse out there at this distance," said Puype. "She’s in deceleration at the finish. Huge. It puts her right to the top of the division. She’s the favorite to win the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I).
"We took her out early at 5:30 (this morning) and jogged her a mile," Puype related. "I usually don’t send her out the day of races, but we wanted her to get used to her surroundings. That was just as nice as it can be. I trained her a little harder for the race. I wanted to make sure she was ready for a deeper track."
Referring to the importance of winning the Test, Puype added, "She put herself in a new financial category today, and she's in line to win an Eclipse Award. She leaves Monday morning (Aug. 8) and we don’t have any plans.”
Pomeroys Pistol, on the outside for John Velazquez, led early over American Lady before Roman Treasure, advancing along the inside with Ramon Dominguez aboard, took the lead on the backstretch. Fractions were not fast for the distance -- :23.02 for the opening quarter-mile and :45.85 for the half, with American Lady and Pomeroys Pistol tracking.
Turbulent Descent, stalking the leaders into the turn, progressed on the outside to pass Pomeroys Pistol and American Lady leaving the bend. She engaged Roman Treasure at the top of the lane and put her head in front near the three-sixteenths pole. With Flores providing brisk encouragement, Turbulent Descent had an insurmountable lead past mid-stretch and was letting up in the final strides.
“She broke really nice, very clean start," Flores said. "She was closer than I was expecting, I thought I was going to be a little bit further back, but the pace was not as fast as I thought it was going to be and that put me in the best spot. So I just waited, there was nobody to worry about, and around the half-mile I just pointed out and she started making a run. I just let her be herself.”
Pomeroy Pistol finished up willingly to sweep past Roman Treasure by 2 1/2 lengths for second.
“She broke very well and I didn’t want to get hooked up head-and-head," Velazquez said of the runner-up. "I sat right there, and when (Turbulent Descent) got to me I moved with them, but I didn’t have enough to keep up.”
Prioress Stakes (gr. I) winner Her Smile didn't get the fast pace trainer Todd Pletcher was hoping for and settled for fourth. Then came Coax Liberty, Salty Strike, Ava K., and second choice American Lady.
Turbulent Descent extended her career earnings to $828,350. Her past victories include the Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) as a 2-year-old, and the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) and Beaumont Stakes (gr. II) prior to the Acorn.
The winner carried 122 pounds and paid $3.90, $2.70, $2.10. Pomeroys Pistol, runner-up in the Prioress last time out for trainer and owner Amy Tarrant, returned $5.90 and $3.90. The exacta was worth $24.80. Roman Treasure paid $4.30 to show.
Savvy Supreme scratched.