Octave Hits Surprising Note in Adirondack BC

(from Saratoga report)
Trainer Todd Pletcher's barn is deep in talent, especially with 2-year-olds. Wednesday afternoon, he used Chagall to occupy favored Magical Ride early and set the table for eventual winner Octave in the $200,000 Adirondack Breeders' Cup (gr. II) for juvenile fillies at 6 1/2 furlongs at Saratoga Race Course.

Magical Ride, the 9-10 favorite breaking from the far outside in post 10, jumped out on the lead under jockey Fernando Jara to go at a fast clip of :21.83; :45.09 and 1:11.91, but she was dogged all the way, first by Chagall on her inside and then by Tora on the outside. Although Magical Ride showed courage late in only her second career start, she gave way as the Pletcher-trained Octave and jockey Garrett Gomez closed to win by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:19.04 before a crowd of 20,751.

Owned by Starlight Stable and Don Lucarelli, Octave is a daughter of Unbridled's Song whose only loss in three starts was a runner-up finish in Belmont Park's Astoria last month. Overlooked at odds of nearly 10-1, the victory was worth $21.60, $11.60 and $6.

"With Chagall, we didn't have a lot of options," Pletcher said. "It looked like Magical Ride was the main speed. I told Garrett, `Don't take away what comes easy. Sit in the pocket and keep coming at them.' That's exactly what happened. It's a tiring track. From the eighth-pole to the wire, you have to be a very fit horse to get there."

Pletcher is looking at the $250,000 Matron (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies at seven furlongs at Belmont Sept. 23 for Octave.

"For a baby to be down on the inside, she acted like she was seasoned," Gomez said. "That's all of Todd's work – to have them ready like that. She did exactly what Todd wanted her to do. It made my job easy. Coming for home, she kept wearing them down and got the job done."

Magical Ride ($3.10), who held third as True Addiction ($27, $8.40) took the place by a half-length, was game in defeat.

Said her trainer, George "Rusty" Arnold: "It's a tiring race track. I don't think it's a distance thing."

Post Invader, a previously undefeated filly from Calder, was fourth, followed by Tora, Chagall, Richwoman and Lemon Drop Girl, who had a problem at the gate from which she never recovered.

Early Vintage was scratched because of an injury sustained while training, according to Barry Irwin of Team Valor Stable.

(Chart, Equibase)