Ashland Stakes (gr. I) winner Fleet Renee, who subsequently disappointed as the favorite in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), made amends for her Oaks performance with a 5 1/2-length victory in Saturday's $250,000 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park. In winning the second leg of the Triple Tiara series, Fleet Renee completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.19 on a fast track under John Velazquez.
"I lost a little confidence in her in the Oaks," said winning trainer Michael Dickinson. "She ran a terrific Ashland and appeared to train well going into the Oaks. She looked terrific in the paddock at Churchill Downs, and I told the owner (Verne H. Winchell) that she wouldn't bounce, but she bounced."
If she bounced in the Oaks then she certainly rebounded in the Mother Goose, as she won easily over a quality field.
Fleet Renee stalked the early pace from third place as Forest Secrets and Mystic Lady took turns on the lead through a half-mile run in :46.28. Fleet Renee raced in fourth at that call, a head behind Tap Dance, who was just a length off the lead. Fleet Renee regained third, rallied while three wide to take control, and drew away in the stretch to the easy win.
"She gets very anxious when she's in the gate and she broke a little awkwardly," said Velazquez. "After that, I just dropped my hands and let her take me up to the leaders. It was a perfect trip after that. She was much the best."
The win was the second graded stakes win on the day for Velazquez, who earlier on the card rode Buster's Daydream to a win in the Tremont Stakes.
Real Cozzy utilized a wide rally to finish second after trailing the field through the opening six furlongs. Exogenous came home third, a head in front of Acorn Stakes (gr. I) winner Forest Secrets. Mystic Lady, Indy Glory, Tap Dance, Zonk, Two Item Limit, and Lady Katie completed the order of finish.
The win marks the fifth in seven starts for Fleet Renee, who also won Laurel Park's Landaura Stakes prior to the Ashland. Fleet Renee (Seattle Slew -- Darien Miss, by Mr. Leader) earned $150,000 for the win to push her career earnings past the $500,000 mark.
Sent off as the favorite in the 10-horse field, Fleet Renee returned $6.10, $3.50, and $2.90. Real Cozzy paid $3.50 and $2.90 and completed the $21.60 exacta. Exogenous paid $4.50 to show.
"The Alabama (gr. I, Aug. 18) will be next, and then the Breeders' Cup," said Dickinson. "She wants to be a fresh horse." (Chart, Equibase