Closing Kettleoneup Soars Home in Sixty Sails

(from Hawthorne release)
Fast fractions and a well timed ride by veteran jockey Calvin Borel, enabled Kettleoneup to roll through the stretch en route to a widening 2 1/2-length victory in the $250,000 Sixty Sails Handicap (gr. III) {VIDEO} for fillies and mares competing at Hawthorne Saturday.

Run at the same 1 1/8-mile distance as the boys in the National Jockey Club Handicap (gr. III), the Michael Tomlinson trained filly stopped the clock in 1:50.89 as the 5-2 third choice in the wagering.

Even money favorite Mo Cuishle, and 2-1 Rolling Sea zipped through an opening quarter in a robust :23.16, nearly a half second quicker than the boys ran the opening quarter in the N.J.C. The two favorites battled to a half in :46.78 before Rolling Sea assumed a short lead around the far turn. It looked like Rolling Sea and jockey Chris Emigh might begin to open up some distance on the field, but the quick fractions took their toll and Kettleoneup took advantage, roaring down the center of the track to lock up the victory.  My Chickadee, ridden by Eduardo Perez, out-finished Rolling Sea for second.  Rolling Sea held for third, while Mo Cuishle tired through the lane and was a disappointing fourth under John Velazquez for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Pace often makes the race and there was no exception here. Calvin Borel described the events:  “(Kettleoneup) was the only filly finishing real good. It really set up for us and I had an awesome trip. The three of them (Mo Cuishle, Rolling Sea, and Coolwind) went out there, and I was able to tip to the outside where she likes it and I was home free.”

The 4-year-old Tom Crouch homebred daughter of Victory Gallop has been on the improve all year and trainer Tomlinson always thought the horse just needed more distance to show her very best. “We always thought she wanted to go long. Second out she cracked a tibia. Then we ran her a time or two short to  set her up. We always knew she was a nice filly and she really loves the route of ground. The farther she goes the better she gets.”

Winning the Sixty Sails also avenged a heartbreak loss in the Azeri Breeder’s Cup (gr. III) when the Pletcher trained India beat Kettleoneup by a head. This time it was Kettleoneup beating Pletcher’s Mo Cuishle and that had to feel good.

“Turnabout is fair play,” Tomlinson chuckled. “I’m glad for it to happen, but you don’t really care who you beat. I’m just happy for my filly.”

The victory moved Kettleoneup’s lifetime mark to four wins from 10 starts and pushed her earnings to more than $250,000.

She paid $7.40, $4.40 and $2.80. My Chickadee returned $8.80 and $4.60. Rolling Sea was $2.80 to show. Mo Cuishle was followed by Coolwind in the five-horse field.

“She just never got a hold of the track," Velazquez said of the favorite. "She was going quick enough, but as soon as I dropped her head, she struggled.”

(Chart, Equibase)

Most Popular Stories