It didn't take long to find out who was the best of the three horses entered in the $200,000 Shuvee Handicap (G3) July 30 at Saratoga Race Course.
Midway through the final turn in the 1 1/8-mile dirt test, Allen Stable and Peter Brant's Paid Up Subscriber effortlessly passed Terra Promessa and Apologynotaccepted, and with little asking from jockey John Velazquez, pulled away to win by a staggering 32 1/2 lengths.
The Chad Brown-trained Candy Ride 5-year-old mare, who ran second to champion Songbird last time out in the June 10 Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1), tracked the early leaders and moved up three wide in the backstretch before she took firm command in the final turn.
Terra Promessa set fractions of :23.07 and :46.81 through a half-mile, but Paid Up Subscriber was already 1 1/2 lengths ahead after six furlongs in 1:11.56 and she cruised to the wire in 1:51.31 over a fast track.
"It was a three-horse field, so sometimes you have to do things different, and that's how it happened today," Velazquez said. "I knew the other two horses had some speed. I wanted to keep it close enough to where they didn't get away from me and not put too much pressure on them.
"On the backstretch I changed my mind, and put the pressure on and see how they did. When I got to the (half-mile) pole, it looked like it was turning my way, and from then on it was pretty easy for her."
Terra Promessa came in second, four lengths ahead of Apologynotaccepted.
The Shuvee was the second graded win for Paid Up Subscriber, who also won the 2016 Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2) at Churchill Downs. She also has four grade 1 placings on her record with seconds in the Phipps, 2016 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes, and 2016 Delaware Handicap. She was third in the Madison Stakes (G1) at Keeneland in April.
Bred in Kentucky by Bruce and Laurie Berenson, Paid Up Subscriber now has a 5-3-2 record from 15 starts and earnings of $862,850.
Previously trained by Al Stall Jr., the Shuvee was the first victory for Brown in her fourth start for the outfit. She was a $1.1 million purchase by Brant's White Birch Farm at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall mixed sale in 2016 where she was consigned by Brookdale Sales. She was originally purchased for $135,000 at the Keeneland September 2013 yearling sale by agent Nick de Meric out of the Blackburn Farm consignment.