Wait a While Knots Second Yellow Ribbon
by Jack Shinar
Date Posted: 9/27/2008 8:13:11 PM
Last Updated: 10/2/2008 4:20:44 PM
Wait a While strides towards her 2nd victory in the Yellow Ribbon.
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Even-money choice Wait a While, undefeated in three starts on the Santa Anita turf course, earned her way back to the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) by winning Oak Tree's $400,000 Yellow Ribbon (gr. IT) (VIDEO) at Santa Anita by three-quarters of a length Sept. 27.
Arindel Farm's classy 5-year-old daughter of Maria's Mon won the Yellow Ribbon in 2006 as well, then ran fourth in the BC Filly & Mare Turf at Churchill Downs. The Todd Pletcher trainee missed both races last year. Wait a While, the champion 3-year-old filly in 2006, went over the $2 million mark in career earnings.
Now with back-to-back wins for the first time in two years, Wait a While has dispelled any notion that she may have lost something this summer when she ran seventh in Saratoga's Diana Stakes (gr. IT) as the favorite over a slightly soft turf two months ago.
Jockey John Velazquez, who picked up his 3,999th career victory in the Yellow Ribbon, had Wait a While, who broke from the far outside in a field of 10, in a perfect stalking post on the outside. She swept to the lead coming off of the final turn as Solva gave way. Vacare, who ran second, challenged along the inside after splitting horses to gain position for jockey Jose Valdivia Jr., but she could not make an impact on the winner in deep stretch. Black Mamba, coming from far back, rallied well for third under Garrett Gomez. The winning time for the 1 1/4 miles on firm going was 1:59.16.
“She (Wait a While) got a little bit aggressive with me when we started down the backside," said Velazquez, who also rode her to victory in Saratoga's Ballston Spa Handicap (gr. IIT) Aug. 21. "But she does everything easy and I was able to bide my time. On the far turn she was really running comfortably. When we made the lead turning for home I thought she was going to just open up, but instead she waited on those horses. When Vacare came to her outside, though, she dug in and got it done. She’s going to be real tough (in the Breeders’ Cup) on this course.”
The 100-1 shot Live Life set pace for six furlongs, clicking off quarter-mile fractions of :24.53, :47.83, and 1:12.31 before backing out before the quarter pole. Solva led briefly round the bend before Wait a While cruised up on her outside to take the lead. Vacare and Black Mamba, who was slow to rally from eighth with a quarter-mile left, both finished strongly but could not get to Wait a While, who ran on under left-handed urging from Velazquez.
“I kept on looking for Black Mamba, and by the time I saw her, it was too late," said Mike McCarthy, Pletcher's assistant.
“I guess the third start off of a layoff you’d think would be her (Wait a While's) best, but I think we’ll go ahead and hope it’s her fourth start off the layoff that’s the best," he added. "I couldn’t imagine her having a better prep than she had today. A lot of credit goes to John (Velazquez), getting her relaxed coming from the 10 hole. She got great position around the first turn.”
Wait a While earned her 12th victory in 23 starts and boosted her earnings to $2,181,917 with the winner's share of $240,000. Alan Cohen of Ocala, Fla., is the winning owner. Bred in Kentucky by W.S. Farish and W. Temple Webber Jr., Wait a While is out of Flirtatious, by A.P. Indy.
She paid $4, $2.80 and $2.10. Vacare, who made her first start at 1 1/4 miles for trainer Christophe Clement, returned $4.40 and $2.80 for a $2 exacta worth $14.40. Black Mamba, coming off a win in the John C. Mabee Handicap (gr. IT) at Del Mar, was $2.20 to show.
Marzelline got fourth, followed by Valbenny, I Can See, High Heel Sneakers, Solva, Gula Gold, and Live Life.
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