Something Ventured got a perfectly timed ride from John Velazquez to collar runaway frontrunner Changing World in the final stages and win the $100,000 My Charmer Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Calder Race Course turf Saturday.
Something Ventured, a 5-year-old Cobra King
mare, won for the first time in 10 starts in 2004.
Velazquez, riding for trainer Todd Pletcher and owners Irvin Wiemer and John McLane, allowed Something Ventured to fall well off the solid pace carved by the 17-10 favorite Changing World. As Changing World hit the wall in the final furlong, she came running through the stretch to capture the 1 1/8-mile turf event for fillies and mares in a good time of 1:46 3/5.
"At first I thought I shouldn't pay attention to the horse on the lead and then I was thinking she had a pretty easy lead," Velazquez said. " I changed my mind and started paying attention – she was holding on pretty good. I got out there and kept my filly busy and she responded for me."
Changing World, with Gary Boulanger aboard, opened up a five-length lead on the clubhouse turn and was ahead by nine on the backstretch as the field spread out behind her. At the top of the stretch she still led by four lengths after fractions of :24, :47 and 1:109 4/5. Something Ventured, third and about 18 lengths behind the pacesetter as they hit the far turn, kept coming to pick up her sixth career victory by a length over Snowdrops, who edged Changing World for second by a half-length.
Mystery Itself came on to finish fourth by a neck over Hail Hillary. Then came Alchemist, Right This Way, Formal Miss, Love Sting, Omeya, Broadway Lady and Anegada.
The Kentucky-bred Something Ventured finished 10th in her last start, the Athenia Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Aqueduct Oct. 31. She had finished second in a pair of minor stakes previously. The victory upped her career earnings to $373,881 in 34 starts.
Something Ventured sports a 2-2-1 record in five lifetime starts at Calder.
"I didn't know if that filly (Changing World on lead) would come back, which you can't control," Pletcher said. "Johnny did the right thing in not trying to go with our mare. (Something Ventured) has always run well at Calder and has been knocking on the door all year."
She paid $14.20, $6.40 and $3.80 as the third choice in the field of 12. Snowdrops, charging under Brice Blanc late, returned $4 and $2.80. Changing World, who was coming off a front-running three-length score in the Violet Handicap (gr. III) at Meadowlands Oct. 22 for trainer Barclay Tagg, was $2.40 to show.