Desormeaux, who had three winners on the day, kept Carriage Trail close to the pace in the nine-furlong test, as she settled nicely into the fourth spot down the backstretch. Shortly after Rosinka took the lead on the turn, Carriage Trail made her decisive four-wide move and struck the front just before the quarter-pole. The daughter of Giant's Causeway opened up a 2 1/2 lead at the top of the lane and extended her advantage despite drifting out towards the middle of the track.
The final time on a ‘fast’ main track was 1:46.77, which was a new stakes and course record. Model was second, 1 1/4 lengths better than Rosinka.
“She just floated over the ground,” Desormeaux said. “She enjoyed the entire running. It was an encouraging run down the lane. Yes, she was on the drift, but she was running so fast. I wasn’t going to hinder her by correcting her path. I just let her drift, and she was happy.”
Carriage Trail is owned by Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable, who also bred the bay. She is trained by Shug McGaughey, who captured his record-tying fourth Spinster title.
Carriage Trail came into the Spinster with two wins in seven starts this season. She won the Doubledogdare (gr. III) at the Keeneland fall meet and two starts ago took the De La Rose Stakes on the Saratoga turf. Most recently, Carriage Trail was second by a length to Wait a While in the Ballston Spa (gr. IIT). She has now won three of four starts at Keeneland and six of 15 career efforts.
Sharp Susan grabbed the early lead from post five under Rene Douglas. The 4-year-old Touch Gold filly set fractions of :23.72 and :47.42 for a half mile. Up close were Jibboom and Rosinka, who made her three-wide move along the early part of the turn and took the lead while going six furlongs in 1:11.02. But it wasn’t much later that Carriage Trail made her winning move.
“This was a big thrill today to see this filly do that,” McGaughey said. “She’s finally come into her own as a 5-year-old, and she’s had a good year. This is kind of the icing on the cake for us.
“I’ll have to talk to Mr. Janney (about the Breeders’ Cup). We’ll see.”
The winner paid $9.20, $5 and $3.40. The exacta (4-3) returned $83.20.
Carriage Trail earned $310,000 for her first grade I win, which pushed her career earnings to $644,628. She is out of the Seeking the Gold mare Manoa.
Little Belle, the only 3-year-old in the race, finished fourth, followed by Wake Up Maggie, Say You Will, Jibboom, Sharp Susan, Unbridled Belle and Rolling Sea.