Sugar Shake proved much the best in the $107,300 Turnback the Alarm Handicap (gr.III) (VIDEO) at Aqueduct Nov. 4, but the winner had an assist when the 9-5 favorite, Altesse, was pulled up after her rein broke early in the race.
Ridden by Javier Castellano, Sugar Shake shook loose from her competition heading into the far turn of the 1 1/8-mile Turnback the Alarm for a two-length win over Cindy’s Mom. Victory Pool finished third, four lengths behind Cindy’s Mom. The order of finish was completed by pacesetter Folk and Peak Maria’s Way.
Altesse, who was ridden by John Velazquez, was in a sweet stalking position behind Folk and Sugar Shake entering the backstretch when her left rein broke and she was pulled up. Velazquez deftly guided the filly to the outside after jockey Edgar Prado, aboard Peak Maria’s Way, made way for Altesse to angle out from her position on the rail.
Folk was aggressively ridden from the gate by Mike Luzzi to make the lead. While being hounded by Sugar Shake, Folk set fractions of :24.08 seconds and :47.17. Sugar Shake had Folk’s measure and took over from that rival leaving the backstretch.
Although no serious threats were posed to Sugar Shake, who had a comfortable lead in the stretch, Castellano kept busy aboard the winner to the finish.
Sugar Shake returned $6, $3.70 and $3.10 as the second choice. She covered the distance in 1:50.02 over a fast track. The winner carried 119 pounds as the high weight.
Owned by her breeder, Stronach Stables, Sugar Shake is trained by Bobby Frankel. The Turnback the Alarm is Sugar Shake’s third win in a graded stakes this year. A 4-year-old daughter of Awesome Again , Sugar Shake also won the Santa Maria Handicap (gr.I) and El Encino (gr.II) at Santa Anita Park during the winter. Her sixth lifetime win in 15 starts was worth $64,380 and increased the bay filly's earnings to $497,636.
“I thought she could make the lead, but Mike Luzzi (aboard Folk) really asked his horse out of the gate," Castellano said. "I got a little scared at the quarter pole because she likes competition and I was afraid she would slow down. Today she proved she can go a mile and an eighth. She’s had a good year.”
Cindy's Mom, ridden by Eddie Castro, returned $12.20 and $6.70, completing a $92.50 exacta. Victory Pool, Alan Garcia aboard, was $3.20 to show.