Saarland raced greenly, tossing his head around, then ducked in a bit, narrowly avoiding bumping with Silent Fred. When Saarland jumped back onto his left lead, he seemed to intimidate or spook Silent Fred, who ducked sharply to his inside and completely lost his action. Saarland kept coming and just wore down Nokoma near the wire to win by a neck, covering his final eighth in a sharp :122/5. Silent Fred still managed to finish a clear-cut third, three lengths behind Nokoma.
"I was disappointed in his Breeders' Cup race, and I was surprised when I found out he was only beaten 5 3/4 lengths," McGaughey said. "I told Cynthia today he was pretty bright in the paddock. Thinking back, he was a little quiet in the paddock before the Breeders' Cup with all the activity. I'm glad we got this one. I've always thought the Remsen was a great race. I won it with Fast Play and Coronado's Quest, and this was a lot better than running in a nonwinners-of-one-other-than (allowance) at Gulfstream. Now I'm excited leaving here.
"I told Johnny before the race let's try to keep him a little more interested today and his mind into what he's doing. I can give him a little bit of a break now, and as big as he is, he'll probably fill out into himself. And he's going to learn a lot in the next two months." Frolickin' in the Demoiselle
Before Velazquez won the Cigar Mile and the Remsen, he cruised to an easy victory in the Demoiselle Stakes aboard Dogwood Stable's Smok'n Frolic, initiating a sweep of the day's three big stakes. After getting away with a half in :48.72 and three-quarters in 1:13.48, Velazquez just sat back and let the daughter of Smoke Glacken take over. She opened up a six-length lead at the eighth pole and coasted home to win by 4 1/2 lengths over Lady Shari and Proxy Statement. The final time of 1:50.57 was half a second faster than the Remsen Stakes.
Smok'n Frolic has now scored in three stakes this year, having won the Fashion Stakes at Belmont in June and the Tempted Stakes (gr. III) on Oct. 28, in which she romped by 6 1/4 lengths.
"This was real easy today," Velazquez said. "The plan was to just get her out there and let her settle. She's really come a long way in a short time and is more professional now."
Pletcher said he's always felt Smok'n Frolic would stretch out with no problem. "Even though most people saw Smoke Glacken and thought she would just be a sprinter, she always had a great stride and an efficient way of moving," Pletcher said. "We'll take her down to Florida and possibly use the Bonnie Miss Stakes (gr. II) as a prep for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I)." Cat is A-O-Cay
McGaughey scored the first of his two big wins over the HolidayFest weekend on Nov. 23 when he saddled Ogden Phipps' Cat Cay to a head victory in the Top Flight Handicap (gr. II). With the Todd Pletcher-trained Tugger finishing second and McGaughey's Atelier finishing third, it meant that the two trainers combined to win four of the five HolidayFest stakes, along with two seconds and a third.
Cat Cay, a daughter of Pleasant Colony out of Cadillacing, rallied along the rail from last in the nine-horse field to out-battle Tugger. Cat Cay, ridden by, you guessed it, Velazquez, closed her last quarter in under :24 to complete the mile in 1:35.45. She has now won two consecutive stakes, having romped by 7 1/2 lengths in the six-furlong Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland on Oct. 21.
"I'm going to give her a little time off and take her down to Florida and point for the Rampart (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park (on March 2)," McGaughey said. Yonaguska Carries the Load
Speaking of big weekends, Tabor, in addition to winning the Cigar Mile and finishing second in the Remsen, captured the Nov. 22 Fall Highweight Handicap (gr. II) with Yonaguska. Sent off as the 9-5 favorite under Jose Santos, Yonaguska carried top weight of 131 pounds and defeated the Jimmy Jerkens-trained Big E E by three-quarters of a length. It was a length back to another Jerkens colt, Voodoo, who was sent off as the 2-1 second choice. Yonaguska covered the six furlongs in a sharp 1:09.60.
The victory followed a score in the Sport Page Handicap (gr. III) on Oct. 27. Yonaguska has now won five stakes for trainer D. Wayne Lukas, while placing in six others. The son of Cherokee Run has finished in the money in 12 of his 13 career starts.
"Jose (Santos) rode a very smart race," assistant trainer Mike Marlow said. "He put him in a great spot. Yonaguska is going to go to California. I think he'll stretch out to a mile now. He seems to be relaxing good, and he's gotten a lot more mature from his 2-year-old year to his 3-year-old year." Pulling Up
Trainer Allen Jerkens got a stakes victory on Nov. 25 when he saddled Susan and John Moore's Iron Deputy to a four-length victory in the Huntington Stakes for 2-year-olds. The son of Silver Deputy, ridden by Richard Migliore, defeated Volley Ball in 1:10.34 for the six furlongs.