Making her stakes debut,Miss World scored a big upset in the $300,000 Garden City Handicap (gr. IT) (VIDEO) when odds-on choice Gozzip Girl had all kinds of trouble on a soft Belmont Park inner turf course Sept. 12.
Cornelio Velasquez, subbing for Garrett Gomez, guided 13-1 shot Miss World to the outside to reach contention in the stretch run and she swept past pacesetter Shared Account in the final furlong to win the 1 1/8-mile test for 3-year-old fillies by 1 3/4 lengths.
Miss World, owned by Waratah Thoroughreds, has won three in a row since breaking her maiden July 8 at Belmont for trainer Christophe Clement. The daughter of Bernstein was coming off a first-level allowance win on Saratoga's inner turf course Aug. 19.
Shared Account was a clear second by two lengths with Ramon Dominguez aboard. Keertana and Eibar Coa finished third, while 2-5 favorite Gozzip Girl did well to run fourth.
Gozzip Girl, ridden by Kent Desormeaux, took up sharply behind early leader Don't Forget Gil going into the clubhouse turn and nearly went down in tight quarters after clipping heels and stumbling badly a few seconds later. Desormeaux managed to stay in the irons as Gozzip Girl fell back to sixth. She made a strong move along the inside going into the final turn and raced fourth into the stretch. But she lacked a response as Miss World rallied from sixth on the turn. Gozzip Girl was making her first start since defeating an international field in Hollywood Park's American Oaks (gr. IT) July 5.
“The first jump, they were already three in front. I thought, ‘Let me find a way out,’ and they came back to me," Desormeaux said. "They were going so slow, I was strangling her trying not to run over them. It was amazing how she stayed on her feet – she’s such an athlete.”
Miss World broke with the leaders on an extremely slow pace but checked in traffic and dropped back in the eight-horse field as Gozzip Girl experienced her troubles on the first turn. Don't Forget Gil, making her turf debut, led out of the gate before Shared Account took over on her outside on the first turn. Dominguez milked fractions of :26.24, :52.36, and 1:17.83 while maintaining Shared Account's edge over Keertana, with Don't Forget Gil and Gozzip Girl tracking.
Pull Dancer made a menacing move on the final turn on the far outside before flattening out in the stretch. Miss World, who rallied four wide on the turn, passed Pull Dancer to her inside, then angled to the outside and made a serious bid approaching mid-stretch. She finished with a flourish under even handling from Velasquez in a slow final time of 1:53.55.
"The trainer told me to cover up and I covered up in behind horses," said Velasquez, who rode Miss World for the first time. "The last three-sixteenths when I asked her, I had a lot of horse. She loved the track very soft and she ran well the last part of the race.”
Shared Account and Keertana, who ran first and second, respectively, in the Lake Placid (gr. IIT) on soft going at Saratoga Aug. 21, validated that effort. Keertana pressed the slow pace and nearly drew even with Shared Account in upper stretch before weakening in the late stages.
Miss World has now won three of five starts on grass with one second. She lost her first five races. The Garden City win, with a $180,000 winning purse, boosted her overall earnings to $263,420.
“It took me awhile to understand the filly," Clement admitted. "I ran her too short and on dirt last year. She’s obviously a turf filly. Because she trained well, I thought she had more speed than she had and, in fact, she stays.
"Today was the first time we stretched her and obviously she ran well," he added. "It was actually a tough trip for her, too. The favorite got really badly squeezed inside, but mine also got squeezed between two horses on the outside. I don’t think she had a great trip, it’s just she was the best horse. We got lucky and she enjoyed the ground and we finished in front.”
Clement said he would consider the Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup (gr. IT) at Keeneland Oct. 17 for Miss World's next start.
Bred in Kentucky by Kilboy Estate, Miss World is out of the Kingmambo mare Moonstar. The bay filly sold for $160,000 as a yearling at Keeneland in September 2007.
Sent off as the fifth choice in the field of eight, Miss World paid $29, $12.40, and $13.20 while topping a $2 exacta worth $202. Shared Account, from the Graham Motion stable, returned $7.70 and $9.30. The Tom Proctor-trained Keertana was $10 to show.
Gozzip Girl, who finished 5 1/4 lengths behind the winner, was followed by Don't Forget Gil, Many Kisses, Katara and Pull Dancer. Undefeated Maram, the second choice on the morning line, was scratched by trainer Chad Brown.
Tom Albertrani, trainer of Gozzip Girl, said the daughter of Dynaformer appeared to be okay after her adventurous trip. "We’ll see how she is cooling out and in the morning,” he said.