Haras du Mezeray and Skymarc Farm's Aigue Marine benefited from a ground-saving trip to capture her first United States stakes win in the $200,000 Robert G. Dick Memorial Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Delaware Park July 5 (VIDEO).
Ridden by Kendrick Carmouche for trainer Christophe Clement, Aigue Marine had to survive a claim of foul before the result was declared official. The 5-year-old mare by Galileo out of the Silver Hawk mare Aiglonne was bred in Great Britain by her owners.
Aigue Marine shipped to the U.S. in 2012, and kicked off her stateside campaign with a close third-place finish in the Long Island Handicap (gr. IIIT). She won an allowance event at Gulfstream Park in the winter of 2013, and this year posted a pair of seconds in Gulfstream's The Very One Stakes and in the Bewitch Stakes at Keeneland (both gr. IIIT).
The Dick Memorial was her first start since the Bewitch in late April. Aigue Marine posted three workouts, two on the turf, at Belmont Park in advance of her trip to Delaware.
The pace in the Dick Memorial, at 1 3/8 miles on grass, was set by Parting Kiss, who broke from post 1 and led to the quarter pole. She set fractions of :25.05 for the opening quarter, 49.49 for the half, 1:14.10 for six furlongs, and 1:38.18 for one mile on a course rated firm. She was chased for the first mile by Tapit's World, Starstruck, and Modernstone.
There was little change among the top four until the far turn, when Topic, well back early, circled the leaders and took a short advantage entering the stretch. At the same time Aigue Marine, who saved ground in mid-pack for most of the race, found room and was taken to the far outside by Carmouche.
After an inquiry and claim of foul by Starstruck's jockey, Kerwin Clark, against the top two finishers, Topic was disqualified from second and placed ninth behind Starstruck. The head-on replay showed that Topic drifted out mid-stretch into the path of Starstruck, who had to take up sharply; Topic also appeared to force the winner wide.
"This was a perfect job by Mr. Clement and his team," said Carmouche, one of the top riders in the Mid-Atlantic region. "I was just a passenger today."
Favored in a field of 12 fillies and mares, Aigue Marine paid $5.80, $4, and $3.20 across the board. Concise returned $5.80 and $5, while Always Kitten was worth $8.20. The $2 exacta paid $45.60 and the $2 trifecta returned $638.60. She's Not Lazy was moved up to fourth after the disqualification.
Aigue Marine's record now stands at 4-4-3 from 15 starts, with earnings of $299,055.