In the one-mile test for fillies and mares, Curlin's Approval and the Todd Pletcher-trained Genre dueled for the lead early and set an honest pace with fractions of :23.53, :45.64, and 1:09.71 through six furlongs. The other Pletcher trainee Eskenformoney settled in third, racing right off the pace.
Jockey Javier Castellano asked Eskenformoney to move up and challenge the front runners going into the far turn. In the stretch, Genre began to fade as Curlin's Approval dug in, but it was Eskenformoney in front at the wire by three-quarters of a length. Curlin's Approval finished second and Genre got third. The final time was 1:35.47.
"It worked out perfectly," Castellano said of his trip. "The thing was the post position. I had a great post. I was able to stalk behind the speed. It worked out great today."
Eskenformoney returned $13.20, $4.40, and $2.80 across the board. Curlin's Approval paid $2.40 and $2.10, and Genre was worth $2.20.
"I think Genre just showed a little more natural speed," Pletcher said of his two runners. "Javier (aboard Eskenformoney) made a conscious effort to try to stay as close as he could and was kind of pecking at (Curlin's Approval) down the backside to maintain that position and it worked out.
"It's nice to see (Eskenformoney) get that (graded win)," he added. "She deserved it. She had knocked on the door several times this summer and had just missed and as a 3-year-old, as well. She seems to like Gulfstream. She's always consistently run well here and it's good to see her pick up a graded win."
In her 20 career starts, Eskenformoney now has a 4-5-3 record with $407,316 in earnings. She has come close to getting a graded victory earlier this year, losing by a neck to Genre in the July 31 Molly Pitcher Stakes (gr. III) at Monmouth Park.
"I'm not sure (what's next)," Pletcher said. "I think there's a good chance Genre will be bred. Eskenformoney, I have to talk to the StarLadies connections and see what the plans are. She's a filly that we always kind of felt like would get better as she got a little older and I think that could prove true."
Bred in Kentucky by Ramspring Farm, the 4-year-old daughter of Eskendereya was a $225,000 purchase by Starlight Racing from Taylor Made Sales at the 2013 Keeneland September yearling sale.