You, right, scores narrow victory over Carson Hollow in the Test Stakes.

You, right, scores narrow victory over Carson Hollow in the Test Stakes.

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Saratoga Race Report: It Had to be You

Published in the August 3 issue of The Blood-Horse
Let's pretend that once a year you're allowed to use as many clichés as you want without anyone jumping down your throat. The suggestion here is to take advantage of this privilege and use them in describing the stretch battle between You and Carson Hollow in the July 27 Test Stakes (gr. I).

Need some examples? OK, how about "this was as good as it gets," or "it's a shame there had to be a loser," or "these two fillies, battling tooth-and-nail, were so game they would have run over broken glass."

That'll probably suffice for now. The truth of the matter is, You and Carson Hollow provided one of the most exciting stretch duels seen in a long time, and cliché or no cliché, it is a shame one of them had to get beat. That one was Carson Hollow, as You snuck through a small opening on the rail and just stuck the tip of her nose in front at the wire. Anyone even the tiniest far-sighted would need a lot of convincing this was not a dead heat.

And the moral of this story is: great athletes can come from anywhere. Long forgotten was the fact this was a former claimer competing against a New York-bred. All anyone saw were two brilliant, gutsy grade I winners fighting like champions. For Carson Hollow, who was suffering her first career defeat, she gained more respect in one furlong of the Test than she did in all her previous four starts combined.

You, in fact, has now won five grade I stakes in her career, a far cry from the $50,000 maiden claimer who debuted at Churchill Downs last year.

You's trainer, Bobby Frankel, was concerned about the filly having to break from post 2 in the seven-furlong race. His fears of her getting caught in traffic were soon realized, as You got stuck behind horses and was shuffled back to last in the seven-horse field. Carson Hollow, meanwhile, was winging it on the lead, setting blistering fractions of :21.60 and :44.27. Jockey Jerry Bailey, trapped for most of the race, finally was able to steer You through horses, although the filly got bounced around pretty good trying to get into contention.

Turning for home, John Velazquez, on Carson Hollow, opened the rail just enough for You to squeeze through. She never hesitated and quickly engaged Carson Hollow. Most everyone felt the 4-5 You would charge on by after the seemingly suicidal early pace. But Carson Hollow reached back and battled her every step. The pair hit the eighth pole in 1:09.68, as if they were attached by Velcro®. Carson Hollow actually held the slightest advantage through the hard-fought final 100 yards. But You kept fighting. Both fillies had answered their gut check and now were straining for the wire. This was no head-bobbing battle, but two heads moving as one. Many felt they hit the wire dead even, but the photo revealed You's nose in front by the narrowest of margins. Both fillies returned to a rousing ovation from the appreciative Saratoga crowd.

You, owned by Edmund Gann, covered the seven furlongs in 1:22.84, increasing her lifetime earnings to $1,168,545. The last $150,000 of that was earned with blood, sweat, and tears. Hey, we had unlimited clichés, remember?

Big Show Price

Despite having won five stakes in his previous eight starts, and despite having the Bill Mott/Jerry Bailey combination going for him, Allen E. Paulson Living Trust's Del Mar Show was sent off as the 7-2 third choice in the July 26 Bernard Baruch Handicap (gr. IIT). You can be sure lots of people at the Spa were celebrating their generous $9.30 win price after the son of Theatrical outfought the two favorites, Forbidden Apple and Volponi, to win by a neck.

When you're talking success in Saratoga, Bill and Jerry can rival Ben and Jerry, whose popular ice cream franchise rakes in the big bucks every night. But even Ben and Jerry's Pistachio Pistachio and Mint Chocolate Chunk can't match Bill and Jerry when it comes to the color green. To them, green means grass, and grass means money, and they sure make plenty of that at Saratoga.

Del Mar Show, their latest in a long line of major grass stars, has now bankrolled more than $740,000 in his career, having won turf stakes at Saratoga, Gulfstream, Hialeah, Rockingham, and Woodbine, while placing in turf stakes at Arlington Park, Pimlico, and Canterbury Park. And it appears the best may be yet to come.

In the Baruch, Del Mar Show mixed it up with Forbidden Apple and Volponi early on, took a short lead into the stretch, and battled gamely to hold off both their challenges. He covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.51 over a firm course that was still a bit deep from recent rains. Volponi just edged out Forbidden Apple for second in the seven-horse field.

Mott and Bailey have now won the last three runnings of the Bernard Baruch and four of the last five--Yagli in 1998, Hap in 2000 and 2001, and now Del Mar Show in 2002.

Magic Wand

Puff! Just like that, two of the leading contenders in the July 28 Go for Wand Handicap (gr. I)--Miss Linda and Atelier--disappeared from contention right at the start. When 3-1 shot Miss Linda stumbled badly and 7-2 shot Atelier broke behind the field, it made the job of 2-1 favorite Dancethruthedawn much easier, as the Canadian filly drew off to a 3 3/4-length victory under Bailey. It was Bailey's fourth graded stakes score in the first five days of the meet.

Dancethruthedawn, owned by Sam-Son Farm and trained by Mark Frostad, is a homebred daughter of Mr. Prospector out of Canadian Triple Crown winner and Eclipse champion Dance Smartly. With Miss Linda tiring and Atelier never in the race, it left things open for 7-1 shot Transcendental to snatch second by a nose from 28-1 shot Too Scarlet. The final time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:50.21.

Dancethruthedawn, winner of last year's Queen's Plate, has now earned $1,538,343. Her only other added-money victory in the U.S. came earlier in the year in the Doubledogdare Stakes at Keeneland.


(Chart, Saratoga, July 27, Equibase)

(Chart, Saratoga, July 28, Equibase)