Society Selection unleashed a big sweeping move around the turn to win the $250,000 Test for 3-year-old fillies in a muddy romp Saturday at Saratoga Race Course, giving jockey Edgar Prado a sweep of the grade I stakes on the day.
A race earlier, Prado brought Wonder Again from behind to win the $500,000 Diana Handicap (gr. IT) on a yielding turf course.
Trained by Allen Jerkens for owner/breeders Irving and Marjorie Cowan, Society Selection appreciated a turn back in distance to seven furlongs and the addition of Lasix for the first time. The final time was 1:23 3/5 on a sealed track listed as "muddy."
She ran last of six, beaten by 14 3/4 lengths, in her last start, the June 26 Mother Goose (gr. I) at 1 1/8 miles at Belmont Park. Jerkens said she bled slightly in that race.
Though he didn't think it was a contributing factor in the Mother Goose, Jerkens said, "I thought it would be a good idea to put her on Lasix.
"You worry about these things when the horse put in a bad effort last time because some horses do quit running on you," Jerkens said. "When it gets muddy like this, you don't know how it's going to turn out because every once in awhile, the speed just holds. Sometimes, the horses in the back get dirt in their faces and they don't want to try. She lost a little ground (by racing so wide), but she was rolling."
The Test was the Kentucky-bred daughter of Coronado's Quest first try in the mud. After breaking outward and checking at the start, Prado placed Society Selection near the rear of the 12-horse field into the turn, and she closed rapidly when she began her move while five wide. She caught lone pacesetter Forest Music in upper stretch and skipped away to win by more than six lengths under steady left-handed urging.
"Almost every horse in the race had speed," Prado said. "I just bided my time. At the half-mile pole, she started picking them up. She went by horses so fast. It's always nice winning at Saratoga, but when you can win two grade ones, it's even better."
Bending Strings, with Pat Day aboard, lumbered past Forest Music in the late stages to be second by 3 3/4 lengths after making a six-wide move on the turn.
"She picked them up around the turn, and she kept going," Day said. "She just couldn't catch the winner. It was certainly a nice effort."
Slight 2-1 choice Friendly Michelle broke slowly and was rank before rallying late to finish fourth for jockey Jerry Bailey.
"She hated the sealed track," Bailey said. "She broke excellent and then her stride was very short and she was just uncomfortable."
Forest Music, breaking from the extreme outside for Shaun Bridgmohan, got away from the field by more than six lengths on the backstretch and set blistering fractions of :21 2/5 and :44 considering the track conditions.
"I tried to control her on the front, but she is a super-fast filly," Bridgmohan said. "I eventually had to let her do what she wanted to do."
Jerkens said he wasn't concerned about the off-track. "I was worried more about so much dirt hitting her in the face."
Society Selection collected her second grade I victory. She took Belmont's Frizette in October. The Test was her first win since the Comely (gr. III) at Aqueduct April 9. Overall, she has four wins in nine starts with earnings of $656,700.
Society Selection is out of the dam Love That Jazz, by Dixieland Band
As a narrow second choice, she paid $8.70, $5.50 and $3.90. Bending Strings returned $11 and $7.60. Forest Music was $9.30 to show. The exacta was worth a generous $106.50.
Prospective Saint finished fifth, followed by Elusive Diva, Dazzle Me, She's a Mugs, Reforest, Himor Me Molly, Feline Story and Rodeo Licious.