by Karen M. Johnson
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin told the family to stay home, so he had to celebrate by himself in the winner’s circle after winning the Flower Bowl Invitational (gr. IT) at Belmont Park Sept. 29 with Lahudood.
Lahudood’s win came a big surprise to McLaughlin, who said he would have “been happy to finish third” in the 1 1/4-mile turf race for fillies and mares. “I told my family, we’re going to be 25-1, stay home,” McLaughlin said.
Lahudood returned $44.40.
Under a patient and ground-saving ride by Alan Garcia, Lahudood forged through the rail in the stretch to win by three-quarters of a length over pacesetter Rosinka, who didn’t back down when challenged.
It was Garcia’s first grade I win.
“I was watching the favorite (Wait a While) the whole time,” Garcia said. “I knew Garrett (Gomez, Wait a While’s rider) had some horse. Around the turn, I just tried to be patient. In the stretch, there was some room to go inside, so I sent her through. She really responded.”
Wait a While, the 4-5 favorite, finished third, half a length behind Rosinka. Wait a While was in perfect position on the outside of Rosinka at the top of the stretch but didn’t exhibit a closing kick.
The final time was 1:59.05, a stakes record, over a firm course. Rosinka carved out fractions of 24.76 seconds, 49.13, 1:12.74 and 1:35.97.
McLaughlin trains Lahudood for Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Stable. Although not nominated to the Breeders’ Cup, the trainer said he would expect Shadwell will supplement to the $2-million Emirates Airlines Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Monmouth Park Oct. 27. The cost to supplement is $180,000.
Shadwell’s Makderah, a graded winner, was supposed to run in the $600,000 Flower Bowl, but sustained a pastern bone injury. Lahudood, who wasn’t on the original list of invitees to the Flower Bowl, was more than an adequate substitute.
“I was looking for an allowance race for (Lahudood),” McLaughlin said. “Rick Nichols (general manager of Shadwell Farm in Kentucky) told me that the boss didn’t send her over here to be an allowance horse.”
Lahudood, who won an allowance race at Belmont in July, would have been eligible to run in a second-level allowance race. Good thing Shadwell wanted to aim higher.