Darley Stable’s Raw Silk staged a minor upset at a rainy Belmont Park May 31, when she took the $150,000 Sands Point Stakes (gr. IIT) (VIDEO) in a wire-to-wire effort under jockey Alan Garcia.
Sent off at odds of 8-1, the Tom Albertrani trainee was much the best in the 1 1/8-mile race as she sprinted clear of the field at the start, leading by four lengths through a quarter in :24.69 and staying clear of her trailers by two lengths for a half in :49.13. Alwajeeha and I Lost My Choo vied for second and third, but the favored Life Is Sweet was also on the move and soon passed those two en route to her eventual second-place finish.
“The first part, she galloped around and was so relaxed,” Garcia said. “When we turned for home, I had a lot of horse left. She kept on running. She was very, very nice.”
A 3-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon, Raw Silk went three-quarters in 1:13.75 and rolled into the stretch with an uncontested three-length lead through a mile in 1:37.09. Kept to the task by Garcia, she benefited from her own soft pace to open up a 4 1/2-length victory margin, stopping the clock in 1:48.46. Life Is Sweet got up to edge Lost My Choo, who was third, by a nose.
“Alan rode her beautifully – three-quarters in 1:13 and 4,” said Andy Rhem, assistant to trainer Tom Albertrani. “The last time, she was chased. This time, she was able to settle. We actually thought the rain might help us, slow things down. Tom (Albertrani) was happy when it rained.”
Raw Silk returned $18.80, $6.40, and $4.80, while Life Is Sweet brought $2.70 and $2.30. I Lost My Choo paid $3.20.
Alwajeeha, Ambidextrous, Queen of Protocol, and Lookalike completed the order of finish. Forest Trail, entered for the main track only, was scratched.
Bred in Kentucky by Joseph LaCombe Stables out of the Danehill mare Silken Sash, Raw Silk was a $460,000 purchase at the 2007 Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training. She finished first in a maiden special weight at Aqueduct last November, but was disqualified from first to second and spent some time on the sidelines before returning to Aqueduct April 16 of this year to break her maiden by 5 ¼ lengths in a one-mile turf event. She then ran third in Belmont’s May 8 Gaviola Stakes, her most recent start before this graded score.
Raw Silk now owns a 2-1-2 record from six races, with earnings of $143,438.