Live Oak Plantation's Irish-bred My Typhoon, under a masterful pacesetting ride from Garrett Gomez, captured the $200,000 Ballston Spa (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares on the Saratoga inner turf course Saturday.
The multiple stakes winner notched her second triumph in four starts this year, completing the 1 1/16-mile event in a solid 1:41 3/5 on firm going. It was her fifth win in six tries at the distance.
My Typhoon, a 4-year-old daughter of Giant's Causeway
trained by Bill Mott, inherited the lead from 6-5 favorite Sweet Talker shortly after the break and maintained a comfortable lead while carving soft fractions of :24 3/5, :48 4/5 and 1:12 4/5. She shook off the pressing Art Fan and Karen's Caper as Sweet Talker began to fall back to take a 2 1/2-length advantage into the stretch. Under steady urging from Gomez, My Typhoon held off the gradual close of Karen's Caper to win by three-quarters of a length. It was 1 1/2 lengths back to the rallying Asi Siempre, who nipped Sweet Talker for third by a neck.
"There was no plan to go to the lead," Gomez said. "We didn't see a whole lot of speed in there, so I just took it. She's a real nice filly. When she made the front so easy, I wasn't going to hold her back. From there, she did the rest. She won pretty easily."
"I thought we would be on the lead," said trainer Bill Mott. "I was hoping that if she was in front, there would be daylight where she wouldn't be too rank. We got away with reasonable fractions and it worked to our favor."
My Typhoon's sixth win in 13 starts was worth $120,000 to boost her career earnings to $629,361. My Typhoon set the pace in the Diana Handicap (gr. IT) in her last start July 29 at Saratoga before finishing fourth, beaten by just one length, by Angara. Sweet Talker was favored Saturday off her second-place finish in the Diana, which she lost by a head. My Typhoon, carrying 118 pounds, received a three-pound break from Sweet Talker.
"I was concerned bringing her back that quickly," Mott said. "But she seemed to be doing well. I could see she was getting worked up in the post parade. As they approached the finish wire, my fears were put to rest."
My Typhoon broke her maiden on the Saratoga turf in August 2004 and has two victories in four starts on the grass there.
The second choice in the field of seven, My Typhoon paid $8.10, $4.60 and $3.20. Karen's Caper, ridden by Edgar Prado, returned $5.80 and $5.20 while completing a $52 exacta. Asi Siempre, with Julien Leparoux aboard, was $4.10 to show.
Trailing were Sixty Rocketts, Ozone Bere and Art Fan, while Stella Blue was scratched.