The form from the Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1) continued to hold up well as Carina Mia became the third next-out winner from that Belmont Park race when she showed her class to win the Shine Again Stakes Aug. 2 at Saratoga Race Course in her first start for trainer Chad Brown.
Carina Mia's lone threat in the race was another Brown trainee, Going for Broke, who was outgamed in the stretch of the $100,000, seven-furlong race. None of the six other entrants in a field scratched down from 10, besides grade 1-winner Carina Mia, had won a graded race before.
After settling behind the leaders through a :46.08 half-mile, Castellano showed patience while being boxed in by Luis Saez and Indulgent. When a seam opened up at the top of the stretch between Momameamaria and Indulgent, Castellano sent his filly through while bumping lightly with the latter.
Going for Broke, under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., received a dream trip up the rail and took the lead briefly before Carina Mia extended her kick to pass her game, graded stakes-placed stablemate in a time of 1:22.23.
Carina Mia paid $3.10, $2.50, and $2.20. Going for Broke paid $4.40 and $3.20. Indulgent, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, stayed on for a clear third to pay $4.30.
Transferred from the barn of Bill Mott, Carina Mia last ran fourth to Songbird and Paid Up Subscriber in the Ogden Phipps. This was her first time stepping out of graded company since breaking her maiden in 2015. She had been running exclusively in grade 1 company since winning the Acorn Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park in June 2016.
"Both horses ran so well, they were so close at the finish," Brown said. "I'm sorry there had to be a loser there, both horses ran terrific, but it's a nice spot to be in to have two nice fillies like this.
"She (Carina Mia) came over to me in pretty good shape about a month ago. She had been working well with our barn and seven-eighths seems to be a really good distance for her. You're always anxious the first time a horse starts for you as the trainer and how they're going to do, but she ran to her workouts. I'm very relieved."
Castellano said he rode Carina Mia like she was the best horse. "I let them go, the two speed horses, and sat behind the two horses. I had the perfect trip. I waited and it worked out great.
"She's an amazing filly because she gave me goosebumps all the way in the race, and when it was time to ask her she responded so well."
Carina Mia is owned by Three Chimneys Farm and was bred in Kentucky by Spendthrift Farm. She was purchased for $410,000 at the 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale. The victory raised her earnings to $1,193,520.