Godolphin Stable’s Seventh Street continued her dominance over an off track, as she wore down Spritely in mid-stretch and went on to win the $300,000 Go For Wand Handicap (gr. I) (VIDEO) Aug. 2 at rainy Saratoga. It was the fifth victory in eight starts for the 4-year-old daughter of Street Cry, who became a multiple graded stakes winner.
Trained by Saeed bin Suroor, Seventh Street rebounded from a tough runner-up defeat to Seattle Smooth in the June 13 Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I) last out at Belmont. Prior to that she won the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park while being trained by Kiaran McLaughlin. The chestnut filly has never been off the board and four of her five wins have come on an off track.
Seventh Street completed 1 1/8 miles in the slop in 1:51.01 under Rajiv Maragh.
The victory was all the more impressive because Seventh Street was pressured throughout by Color Me Up and Alan Garcia. Those two dueled through splits of :23.58, :47.22 and 1:11.27 with Color Me Up maintaining a narrow advantage.
As they came off the turn, the rail opened up nicely for a stalking Spritely, and the Touch Gold filly slipped through under Edgar Prado to take a 1 1/2-length lead into the stretch. Seventh Street responded to the challenge despite drifting out in the stretch. She kept charging at Spritely and regained her advantage at the sixteenth pole. She went on to win by 1 1/2 lengths as the 7-5 favorite.
Miss Isella rallied late to get second under Julien Leparoux, a head in front of Spritely. Weathered was fourth.
“I didn't want to tangle up with the longshot outside of me (Color Me Up),” said Maragh, who earned his first grade I win at Saratoga, “so I tried to have my filly relax. I didn't want to use her energy early. I just wanted to get her to the quarter pole with the most energy as possible. She held up fine.”
Seventh Street, who was bred in Kentucky by Steve Barberino and is out of the Meadowlake mare Holiday Runner, has now earned $656,000. From November of 2008 to January of this season, she won three consecutive starts in the slop or mud at Aqueduct.
The winner paid $4.90, $2.70 and $2.20. The exacta (1-4) returned $10 and the trifecta (1-4-5) was $22.
Color Me Up was fifth, followed by Luna Vega. Seventh Street’s stablemate, Cocoa Beach, was scratched.
Of runner-up Miss Isella, trainer Ian Wilkes said: “I thought it was a funny race; it looked like we were struggling coming around the turn and I thought we were going to run near last, then she picked up and really tried. I think she struggled a little bit with the track, but she ran good, she ran second. I’m proud of her. She gives her race every time. We’ll look to the Personal Ensign (gr. I, Aug. 30) next.”