Golden Velvet turned the tables on rival Tessa Blue, but only after gutting it out in a neck-and-neck battle with that one in the $200,000 Sixty Sails Handicap (gr. III)(VIDEO) at Hawthorne Race Course.
The 5-year-old Darley homebred, by Seeking the Gold out of the Storm Cat mare Caress, was third to Tessa Blue’s runner-up effort in the Rampart Handicap (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park when the two last raced March 9. This time, going the same distance, it was Golden Velvet who came out ahead – by 3 ½ lengths.
Third at the start under Eibar Coa, Golden Velvet remained in that position while Tessa Blue led through a quarter in :23.97. She moved up to second for a half in :48.31, moving off the rail to catch the leader on the turn. Those two moved together down the stretch, brushing slightly as a gritty Tessa Blue finally conceded her advantage. It was 2 ¾ lengths back to the third-place finisher, Kathleens Reel. The final time was 1:51.30.
Golden Velvet paid $5.80, $3 and $2.40. Tessa Blue returned $2.60 and $2.20, while Kathleens Reel brought $6.
The Sixty Sails score brought Golden Velvet’s career record to 4-2-4 from 12 starts for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. Her earnings now total $269,309.