Indulgent wins the Go for Wand Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack

Indulgent wins the Go for Wand Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack

Coglianese Photos/Chelsea Durand

Indulgent Makes the Grade in Go For Wand

Bernardini half-sister to Frosted won by one length.

Godolphin USA president Jimmy Bell is uncertain if Indulgent's win in the $200,000 Go for Wand Handicap (G3) will be her final start, but he quickly pointed out that it was her "most important" race.

Godolphin Racing's 4-year-old half sister to grade 1 winner and Darley stallion Frosted  notched her first graded stakes triumph Dec. 2 at Aqueduct Racetrack, where she battled for the early lead, drew clear in the stretch, and held on for a length victory in the Go for Wand.

"To put a graded win under her name is very, very import for (Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's) breeding program so that we can carry on with a family that has been so very, very good to us with Frosted and Midshipman in there. She'll be a welcomed addition to the breeding operation," Bell said. 

"We'll take it one step at a time. I don't know if it's her last race, but it's certainly her most important race."

A daughter of Bernardini  bred by Sheikh Mohammed's Darley, Indulgent made just her second start at a mile and proved that her initial try, a fifth-place finish for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin in the Ruffian Stakes (G2) in May on a sloppy Belmont Park track, was an aberration.

"In speaking with Kiaran, he always wanted to stretch her out, but she did so well sprinting early in her career you hate to get away from what is good to you," Bell said. "We stretched her out to a mile once, but she ran horribly on that (sloppy) racetrack, but there was no reason why she shouldn't handle it."

Indulgent dueled for the early lead with Lucy N Ethel in the one-turn mile through modest fractions of :23.52 and :46.82 for a half-mile, but then spurted clear under Luis Saez at the top of the stretch and held off late bids by Highway Star, the 5-2 second choice, and Verve's Tale

"It was a picture-perfect trip," Bell said. "We didn't want the lead, but you take what is given to you. What was important is that she had that right rhythm and was very comfortable down the backstretch."

Indulgent completed the mile in 1:37.75, winning for the fourth time in 12 starts and increasing her earnings to $342,117. She returned $27.40, $10.60, and $5.70 across the board. She was second last time out in the Pumpkin Pie Stakes at Aqueduct, and prior to that was sixth in the Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes (G2) behind Ami's Mesa and Bar of Gold. Bar of Gold and Ami's Mesa came back to run 1-2 in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1).

Indulgent's dam, graded stakes winner Fast Cookie, is a daughter of the multiple graded stakes winner Fleet Lady. Fleet Lady also foaled Midshipman , the champion 2-year-old male of 2008 who now stands at Darley's Jonabell Farm.

For Chester and Mary Broman's homebred Highway Star, the 123-pound highweight and winner of last year's Go for Wand, her runner-up performance was a dramatic improvement over her last start. She was 11th in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint behind stablemate Bar of Gold.

"I wasn't going to target this race, but she did great," trainer Rodrigo Ubillo said. "Doing all of this inside of a month was a lot for her. She also had a big weight difference, but there was no excuse."

Juddmonte Farms' Jamyson 'n Ginger, the 8-5 favorite, was last in the field of seven.

"She never looked involved today," trainer Chad Brown said. "(She was) very flat throughout the race."

Video: Go for Wand H. (G3)