Randaroo Holds Off Shine Again in First Flight

(from Belmont report)
Randaroo, leading from the outset, held off the late charge of Shine Again to win the $150,000 First Flight Handicap (gr. II) on Breeders' Cup Saturday at Belmont Park.

Randaroo, under Heberto Castillo Jr., went to the lead from the starting gate in the 7-furlong sprint for older fillies and mares. At the top of the stretch, she pulled away to a four-length lead. Shine Again, under Richard Migliore, closed strongly, but she fell a neck short. Randaroo finished in 1:23 3/5 over the fast track and paid $11.20.

Owner Joseph Allen earned $90,000 for the victory.

"She's a very nice filly with a lot of class," said winning trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

Randaroo - a 3-year-old Kentucky-bred bay filly by Gold Case, out of Validated (Valid Appeal) - improved her record to 5-3-0 from 10 starts with earnings of $251,680.

Randaroo and Castillo won the Safely Kept Breeders' Cup at Pimlico on Oct. 4 in her first start for McLaughlin. Anthony Dutrow previously trained her.

"I'm just happy they gave me a chance to ride her back," Castillo said. "I got to know her a little the last time I rode her in Maryland. We thought we'd be stalking, but no one wanted the lead so I took it and tried to slow it down. She took control and held off a nice horse in Shine Again."

Shine Again, a multiple grade I winner who has earned more than $1.2 million in her long career, finished second for the fifth consecutive time. She is 2-5-0 from seven starts in 2003. Overall, Shine Again is 14-10-7 from 34 starts for trainer Allen Jerkens and Bohemia Stable.

"We had a good trip," said Migliore. "I got her in the clear and she made her run. She was coming steady, but ran out of ground."

Randaroo paid $11.20, $3.40 and $2.40 as the 9-2 second choice in the field of eight. Shine Again returned $2.30 and $2.10. Zawzooth, under Jorge Chavez, was third and paid $2.60.

(Chart, Equibase)