Tom Grether Farms’ Intangaroo notched her third grade I score of the season, as she came from off the pace under Alonso Quinonez and stormed past rivals in the stretch to take the $250,000 Ballerina Stakes (gr. I) (VIDEO) by 2 3/4 lengths Aug. 24 at
Trained by Gary Sherlock, the victory earned Intangaroo an automatic berth in the $1-million Sentient Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Oct. 24 at Santa Anita.
Miraculous Miss rallied from far back to get second, three-quarters of a length in front of third-place Sugar Swirl, who went off as the 2-1 betting choice. The final time for seven furlongs on the "fast" main track was 1:22.18.
With Cornelio Velasquez in the irons, Mistical Plan broke on top and took the field of eight into the stretch while clicking off speedy splits of :22.30, :44.88, and 1:09.33. At the eighth-pole she was a half-length in front of Sugar Swirl, who had pressed the pace the whole way. Leah’s Secret was also in good striking position third.
But after being fifth and taking a six-wide entry into the lane, Intangaroo began to make a huge move from the middle of the racetrack. She rolled past her rivals and struck the lead in mid-stretch. She won going away.
“It was my first time here and my first win, so I am excited. What can I say? I just followed instructions," Quinonez said. "I was a good passenger. She just did it all. We had it all mapped out. We said, 'Just let her break.’ She relaxes pretty good when she is behind horses; when she’s not, she wants to go. So, I just kept her behind horses, and she was perfect.
“When we turned for home, we angled to the outside and took off.”
Although she entered the Ballerina off a fourth-place finish in the June 28 A Gleam Handicap (gr. II) on the Hollywood Cushion Track, Intangaroo was in the midst of a sensational season. The 4-year-old Orientate filly had already notched victories in the Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) in February and the Humana Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby day when she defeated Hystericalady.
“You just saw why we came to Saratoga," said Sherlock, who also garnered a win in his first start at the prestigious racetrack. "She ran great at Churchill. The only time she really ran bad were those two races at Del Mar. This was a national stage: if we could win this, it was three grade I wins and she would be looking good for the Eclipse Award.
"The next race will be the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint,.”
Going off as the 5-1 third choice, Intangaroo paid $12.20, $7, and $3.90. The exacta (1-7) returned $81.50, while the trifecta (
Leah’s Secret finished fourth, followed Jibboom, Mistical Plan, Baroness Thatcher ,and Bayou’s Lassie.View Stakes Detail and Full Equibase Chart