Shadwell Stable's Makderah burst to the lead mid-stretch and left her five rivals behind en route to an easy four-length win in the $190,000 New York Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) (VIDEO) for fillies and mares battling at 10 furlongs on the inner turf course at Belmont Park Saturday.
The Irish homebred made it back-to-back wins over the Belmont layout for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. The 4-year-old Danehill filly has had three starts since transferring to the U.S. this year from Great Britain, where she was conditioned by Marcus Tregoning. The New York is her first graded stakes win.
Taken back early behind a slow pace by jockey Alan Garcia, Makderah flashed an impressive turn of foot after closing while wide coming into the stretch. She was clocked in 2:00 on firm going.
Masseuse, ridden by Cornelio Velasquez, stayed on after stalking the pace to earn second by a neck over Hostess, who arrived late for Channing Hill to knock 6-5 favorite Jade Queen and Garrett Gomez out of the money.
“Even though I was in good spot, she was just never comfortable,” said Gomez of Jade Queen. “It seemed like she was wanting to get it on too much. At the half-mile pole, I let it out a notch to see if she would get more comfortable; but as soon as I asked her to run, she just fell apart on me.”
Trainer Christophe Clement scratched morning line favorite Vacare from the New York because of an entrapped epiglottis. The 4-year-old daughter of Lear Fan, 5-for-6 lifetime, will have surgery on Monday.
For Always, a 50-1 shot, set the pace ahead of Jade Queen of :24, :49 1/5 and 1:13 3/5 before fading to last, more than 14 lengths behind fifth-place finisher La Dolce Vita. After a mile in 1:37 2/5, Jade Queen took the lead briefly with Masseuse launching a strong bid on her outside, but Makderah was coming with a rush that carried her to a convincing victory.
“When you step up from a `two other than’ to a grade II, you don’t think you are going to see the same result,” McLaughlin said. “But it was exactly the same. It even looked like she won by the same amount of lengths that she won by last time. She was pretty impressive. Alan (Garcia) did a great job of getting her back off the pace early. I have to look ahead now. I haven’t planned anything for her beyond this.”
Makderah, group III-placed in England last summer, improved her career mark to 4-2-3 in 10 starts with earnings of $208,400 after collecting the winning share of $90,000. She carried 116 pounds Saturday , four less than co-high weights Masseuse and La Dolce Vita. Makderah debuted in this country in April with a runner-up finish at Keeneland and came back to be a dominant 5 3/4-length winner over allowance foes on May 3.
Sent off as the second choice in the field of six, Makderah paid $7.50, $4.50, and $3.20.
Masseuse, a winner of three of her four starts on the Belmont inner turf for trainer James Toner, returned $5.70 and $3.50.
Hostess, coming off a third-place finish in Belmont's Sheepshead Bay Handicap (gr. IIT) one month ago, was $3.70 to show.
The Bobby Frankel-trained Barancella was also scratched.