Perfect Noble Damsel Heist for Karen's Caper

(from Belmont Park report)
It's the money time of the year for trainer Bobby Frankel, who is starting to get hot at the right time. He saddled favored Karen's Caper, who got an ideal set up Saturday on the Belmont Park Widener Turf Course under jockey Edgar Prado to win the $155,366 Noble Damsel Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mare at one mile.

The late-running three-quarter-length victory over Pommes Frites snapped an eight-race losing streak for Karen's Caper, a 4-year-old War Chant filly bred and owned by Stonerside Stable, She had not won since April 13, 2005 in Newmarket, including a three-quarter-length defeat to My Typhoon in Saratoga's Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup (gr. IIT) in her last start Aug. 26.

"I thought she was compromised last time out by a slow pace," Frankel said. "That was a concern today also with Pommes Frites in there. Edgar had her in a good spot, and she kicked in real hard today."

With the rail out nine feet on the firm course, jockey Jose Santos sent Pommes Frites out to an uncontested lead, setting a pace of :24.14; :48.27, and 1:11.88. But Prado had kept his mount clear for an outside run, and in the stretch, set her down for a powerful finish that brought her home the winner in 1:34.91.

"She broke well, but she doesn't have the speed to be right up there," Prado said. "You've just got to let her relax and let the race develop. She's got a real nice kick, and she was there when I asked her."

Karen's Caper returned $5.80, $3.60, and $2.40 for her third win in 12 lifetime outings. Second by a nose in her first American start in Keeneland's Queen Elizabeth II Cup (gr. IT) for owner Stonerside Stable nearly 11 months ago, she earned $97,320 Saturday, bringing her total bankroll to $452,113. She has a win and two seconds in five U.S. tries.

Pommes Frites, a bit short in her first outing since July 1, returned $4 and $3. She finished three parts of a length in front of French-bred Mauralakana ($2.80), ridden by Garrett Gomez in her first U.S. start for trainer Patrick Biancone.

Bright Abundance, Sabellina, Humoristic, Safari Queen, and Prop Me Up completed the order of finish. His Beauty was scratched.

(Chart, Equibase)

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