In her first start since winning the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), Proud Spell had a horrible trip that ended with being disqualified from second to third as Music Note won the Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) (VIDEO) at Belmont Park June 28.
Though just a four-horse field, Proud Spell stumbled at the start and had to check down the stretch as Music Note won her third straight race and became a grade I stakes winner in her first stakes start. Proud Spell finished second but bore out down the stretch and was taken down a spot by the stewards, which elevated Never Retreat to second. Hamsa was fourth.
Though Proud Spell had trouble, take nothing away from Music Note, who had broken her maiden last November in her second race by 7 1/4 lengths, and after nearly six months away from the races, returned May 22 to win an allowance race at Belmont by an easy seven lengths.
Proud Spell may have been 1-5, but the bettors made Music Note 3-2, so not far back in the wagering in the small field.
Owned by Godolphin and trained by Saaed bin Suroor, Music Note is by A.P. Indyand out of the Sadler’s Wells mare Note Musicale. She was bred in Kentucky by Gainsborough Farm.
Proud Spell nearly went to her knees out of the gate but moved up on the inside as Never Retreat made the lead. Proud Spell sat in second and Music Note settled in third as they went a quarter in :24.83. By the time they went the half in :48.66, Never Retreat was still in front but Music Note had moved to second.
Jockey Gabe Saez was content to sit on the rail with Proud Spell as they ran six furlongs in 1:13.09. When the field entered the stretch, Saez was waiting for Never Retreat to come off the rail but it never happened. He had to check, went out to the middle of the track, and then went back to the rail, which is where Proud Spell likes to run.
Under left-handed whipping, Proud Spell drifted out as Music Note and Javier Castellano went on to win the race convincingly. After an inquiry, Proud Spell was disqualified.
“I had a beautiful trip, even though she stumbled at the start,” Castellano said. “I tried to position myself; I did not want to be on the lead. It was a pretty tight trip. I wanted to be in position to just push the button. She gallop out good, and I don’t think she will have a problem going farther.”
“From the very start, we was (sic) against it,” said Proud Spell’s trainer Larry Jones. “She looks like she’s okay; she didn’t grab a quarter or nothing. From the beginning, it looked like it wasn’t going to be our day. When we needed somewhere to go, we had nowhere to go. And when it was time to go, we weren’t going.”
Music Note ran the nine furlongs in 1:49.75 and paid $5.30 and $11.60. There was no show wagering. Never Retreat returned $20.