Atelier scored a seven-length victory in Aqueduct's Saturday co-feature, the $113,200 Turnback the Alarm Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares 3 years old and up. The win was the fifth in nine starts this year for Atelier, who was coupled in the wagering with Batique. Under Edgar Prado, Atelier completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.95 on a fast track. Tap to Music was second in the field of 10, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Pentatonic.
Batique set the opening fractions and led by six lengths after a half-mile run in :47.73. Atelier was fifth at that point but moved up to fourth, just over a length off the lead, as Batique completed six furlongs in 1:12.35, with Tap to Music second, and Under the Rug third. Atelier unleashed a burst of speed while three wide on the turn to open up by seven after a mile and maintained that advantage to the wire.
"She broke cleanly and had no problems settling off the pace," said Prado. "She was pretty content and I decided to lay in the back of the pack and let her make one run. I know she's got talent, but the move she put in was awesome."
Atelier earned $67,920 for owner-breeders Helen Alexander, Helen Groves and Dorothy Matz and returned $6.90, $3.50 and $2.70. Tap to Music paid $3.80 and $3.10. Pentatonic, who also finished third in the Beldame (gr. I), returned $3.80 to show. Belle Cherie, Mumbo Jumbo, Under the Rug, Batique, Resort, Up We Go, and Grand Mujer completed the order of finish.
A 3-year-old daughter of Deputy Minister, Atelier began her racing career in April and earned her first stakes win on Saturday. In her lone prior attempt in stakes company, the Claude McGaughey-trained Atelier finished fourth in the Gazelle Handicap.
"We go through a lot of practice stages with horses," said McGaughey. "It has taken a while for her to learn, but what has happened has worked. All of her races have been decent races, but her last two were huge." (Chart, Equibase