Eddie Castro controlled the pace and My Typhoon was an easy 3 3/4-length winner of the $294,000 Just a Game (gr. IIT) (VIDEO) on the turf at Belmont Saturday on the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) undercard.
Castro put My Typhoon, who went over the $1 million mark in career earnings with the victory, on the lead of the one-mile test for fillies and mares shortly after the break and led through crawling early fractions of :25.03 and :49.01. Heavily favored Wait a While was sitting in second but when they went six furlongs in 1:12.42, My Typhoon had plenty left in the tank and sprinted home to victory over four rivals.
“It kind of played out like it looked on paper," Castro said. "No one challenged me on the lead and I kind of expected them to. She was going really easy and turning for home, I let her out a little bit. She won really easy. I had a ton of horse at the end.”
Wait a While, last year's 3-year-old champion filly ridden by Garrett Gomez at odds of 7-10, finished second, 1 1/2 lengths in front of Take the Ribbon, who came on to get third for Rafael Bejarano.
"When we turned for home, the leader took off on me," Gomez said. "I think maybe a little farther my filly will do better. ”
The final time was 1:34.92.
Bred in Ireland by Sunderland Holdings, My Typhoon is owned by Live Oak Plantation and trained by Bill Mott. The 5-year-old mare made it back-to-back graded stakes score, having won the Jenny Wiley (gr. IIT) at Keeneland in a race that came off the turf. She defeated Wait a While in the Wiley as well.
Mott said the slow pace was an advantage for My typhoon, who ran successfully on the front end while winning the Ballston Spa Handicap (gr. IIT) at Saratoga last August.
"Going into the turn, (Castro) let her out a notch and Wait a While just didn’t really keep stride," Mott said. "At that time I thought, `Hmm, I kind of like this.’ I think she’s kind of gotten better each year and that’s why she’s still in training. I kind of put my head on the chopping block and voted for her to stay in training. She was very sound and I thought she would improve. She appeared to me to be one of those that hadn’t had her best year yet. I give Mrs. (Charlotte C.) Weber a lot credit for keeping her in training because she will be a very valuable broodmare."
Mott said the plan is to to Saratoga for the Diana Handicap (gr. IT) at nine furlongs on the turf July 28.
By Giant’s Causeway out of the Miswaki mare Urban Sea, My Typhoon earned $180,000 while winning her eighth start in 13 races. She has banked $1,003,361.
My Typhoon paid $9.10, $3, and $2.20 as the second choice, while Wait a While returned $2.40 and $2.10. Take the Ribbon paid $2.60 to show. The French-bred Mauralakana and Miss Shop trailed.