Shining Energy isn't just a mile specialist anymore. The Julio Canani-trained 4-year-old filly trailed the field in Monday's $349,500 Gamely Breeders' Cup (gr. IT) into the far turn, then unleashed a tremendous bid in the stretch to win going away in a mild surprise on the Hollywood Park turf.
The daughter of Rahy
woke up in her last start for Canani with a nice winning move late in the one-mile American Beauty on the Santa Anita turf. That effort convinced Canani that Shining Energy could handle the extra furlong of the Gamely. She proved more than up to the task for jockey Victor Espinoza, seizing command near the eighth pole and pulling away to win by 1 3/4 lengths. Her winning time was a solid 1:46 4/5.
"I really believed honestly it was a little too far, but her mother (Miss Universal) won a stake at a mile-and-a-quarter," said Canani, who previously captured the Gamely with Tranquility Lake in 199. "She's been training unbelievable ... I was thinking of running her on the dirt because she worked so good on the dirt. I don't train this filly on the grass, I train her on the dirt."
Pacesetter Dancing Edie prevailed over the 6-5 favorite Argentina by a head for second. It was the third consecutive graded stakes race that the Bobby Frankel trained Argentina, twice group I placed in France for the Wildenstein Stable, has failed as the favorite in the United States.
Dancing Edie, ridden by Tyler Baze, set pedestrian fractions of :24 3/5, :48 3/5 and 1:11 4/5, with stablemate Sharp Lisa and Argentina stalking. Shining Energy trailed but was never that far out of it as the race unfolded. She responded gamely on the turn, lost some ground when wide while straightening away for the stretch run but had more than enough to make up it. She reached the leaders past mid-stretch and won driving.
"When I came out of the gate, she broke nice and clear," said Espinoza in describing his trip. "But I kind of lost my position a little bit, so I just decided to sit back. I didn't want to get into trouble coming out of the chute. In there, it's always a little bit rough when you're close to the rail.
"She was unbelievable turning for home. The last eight of a mile, she just blew everybody away. Just in a second, she took off and I was just like 'wow!' It felt pretty good. It's nice to ride this type of horse."
Shining Energy won the San Clemente (gr. IIT) at her favorite mile distance over 3-year-old fillies in a surprise last summer, her last victory before the American Beauty. Her career record is 5-3-1 in 15 starts. She earned $210,900 Monday and has now banked $504,837 for owners J. Terrence Lanni and Bernard J. Schiappa.
The winner paid $14.80, $7 and $4.40. Dancing Edie returned $10.80 and $5 while completing a $121.40 exacta. Argentina, with Alex Solis aboard, was $2.60 to show.
"She ran good," Solis said. "Unfortunately there was no pace today, and I was in a position I wasn't planning to be. But it just happened that way, and I thought she ran a really good race. Hopefully, next race we get some pace."
Hollywood Story finished fourth, followed by Eternal Melody, Sharp Lisa and Ticker Tape.
The first three finishers in the Gamely will receive invitations to the $750,000 CashCall Mile (gr. IIIT),an invitational event on July 1.