Eskenformoney closed her racing career for StarLadies Racing and Lisa Troutt with a reminder of her class Oct. 28 at Belmont Park, where she put in a relentless rally to win the $200,000 Turnback the Alarm Handicap (G3).
The 5-year-old daughter of Eskendereya will be offered Nov. 6 at the Fasig-Tipton November sale as Hip 168 consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency. But before leaving Todd Pletcher's barn, she gave her connections one last trip to the winner's circle with a head victory over Verve's Tale in the 1 1/16-mile contest.
Third behind Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) contender Elate in the Sept. 30 Beldame Stakes (G1) at Belmont and third to Forever Unbridled and Songbird in the Aug. 26 Personal Ensign Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course, Eskenformoney enjoyed the class drop from top company. She won for the first time since Dec. 17 when she bested Curlin's Approval in the Rampart Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
"I thought with 60 or 70 yards left she wasn't going to get there, but she really surged the last part," Pletcher said. "I thought the race was unfolding really well and she was getting a good trip and she was resolute until the end.
"This is her last start before the November sale. She's been a great filly for us, very consistent. A real sweetheart to train."
Fifth under Hall of Famer John Velazquez as 3-5 choice Miss Sky Warrior showed the field of six through an opening quarter-mile in :23.14, Eskenformoney was slow to get rolling at first.
"There was no choice (but to take her back). We know she doesn't have much speed in the beginning," Velazquez said. "They were rolling along in the first part."
Eskenformoney moved up to fourth as Miss Sky Warrior ran a demanding half-mile in :45.86. The front-runner yielded coming off the turn to Verve's Tale, who tracked her the whole way, but after three-quarters in 1:10.61, Eskenformoney was mounting her bid and swept into contention through a 1:36.35 mile. Verve's Tale was all-out to the wire, but ran out of ground and lost to the eventual winner's powerful surge. Birdatthewire also rallied but was no match for the top two and settled for third, 4 1/2 lengths back.
"On the turn, I was riding a long way," Velazquez said. "I haven't ridden this horse since the second time she ran. I was thinking, 'Man, I am working her really hard and she is not going anywhere,' so I kept after her and made sure she stayed a little close and didn't have to do too much. When the quarter pole came, she swept down the lane ... and finally, five yards to the wire, she got up."
The final time was 1:43.12 on a fast track. Off at odds of 7-2, Eskenformoney returned $9.20, $4, and $2.90. Verve's Tale paid $5 and $3.30, and Birdatthewire brought $3.30. The order of finish was completed by Miss Sky Warrior, Indian Paint, and A Place to Shine. Tejana was scratched.
Bred in Kentucky by Ramspring Farm out of the Not for Love mare But for Money, Eskenformoney was a $225,000 Keeneland September yearling, consigned by Taylor Made and purchased by Starlight. Her record stands at 5-7-7 from 28 starts, for earnings of $757,616.