By Jerry Bossert
Stonestreet Stables' Cavorting outfought favored Angela Renee through the stretch to take the $200,000 Adirondack Stakes (gr. II) (VIDEO) by 1 3/4 lengths at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 10.
It was the second win from two starts for the 2-year-old filly by Bernardini . She broke her maiden impressively at Belmont Park in front-running style by 11 lengths over three opponents July 3 for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.
As expected, speedster Vivian Da Bling quickly jumped out of the gate under Rosie Napravnik and set the early fractions of :22.60 and :45.72 for the half-mile with favored Angela Renee racing in second in close pursuit under jockey John Velazquez.
Cavorting, racing in fifth early after a sharp break, joined the top two on the far turn while three-wide under Irad Ortiz Jr., and battled with Angela Renee through the stretch before pulling away late.
"We had a lot of confidence because she's trained very well," McLaughlin said. "She's a special filly. She ran 11 weeks after she came to us and won by 11. Usually our horses improve (in their) second start. She had a perfect trip, Irad rode a great race. We wanted to try to keep her face clean, and it worked out very well. She's a very talented filly."
It was the first win in the Adirondack Stakes for both Ortiz and McLaughlin. It was the third time Stonestreet won the Adirondack after capturing the 2011 and 2012 editions with My Miss Aurelia and Kauai Katie.
"At the half-mile, I had to cut the corner," Ortiz said. "I didn't want to go too wide. When I asked her, she just took off. I got clear turning for home. I think she was ready. The trainer brought her ready. When I asked her, she took off. She's a nice filly. She won first time out by 11 lengths, easy. We saw better fillies today, and she can do it."
Bred by Swettenham Stud in Kentucky out of the Carson City mare Promenade Girl, Cavorting was sold as a weanling to Stonestreet for $360,000 out of the Eaton Sales consignment at the 2012 Keeneland November sale.
Cavorting returned $9.50, $4.30, and $3.10 to win as the third-choice in the field of seven, completing the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.49. She earned a $100,000 bonus by winning the Adirondack after breaking her maiden at Belmont, making the purse worth $220,000. That bumped her career earnings to $265,000.
McLaughlin indicated that the grade I Spinaway Aug. 31 at Saratoga may be a little quick to come back for.
"We'll see how she comes out of this race," the trainer said. "There's the Frizette (gr. I on Oct. 4 at Belmont Park) at a mile, and the Breeders' Cup (Juvenile Fillies) is obviously what we hope for."
Siena Farm's Angela Renee, the 19-10 favorite off a sharp maiden debut win at Belmont June 27, settled for second for trainer Todd Pletcher. She returned $3.20 and $2.50 as part of a $36.40 exacta.
New York-bred Wonder Gal raced in tight quarters through the stretch before squeezing up the rail late to get up for third, 2 1/4 lengths behind Angela Renee. She paid $2.70 to show. The tiring Vivian Da Bling lasted for fourth, with Take Charge Brandi, Phoenix Park, and Empressive Humor completing the order of finish.
The win in the Adirondack capped a big week for Stonestreet connections, who saw their Curlin get inducted into the Hall of Fame Aug. 8. Curlin was the 2007 and 2008 Horse of the Year, capturing both the Preakness Stakes and the Breeders' Cup Classic Powered by Dodge (both gr. I) in 2007.