Under veteran jockey Eddie Delahoussaye, Go Go rallied in the stretch to win Saturday's $106,000 Desert Stormer Handicap (gr. III) by a half-length on a fast track at Hollywood Park. Delahoussaye has won three of the five renewals of the Desert Stormer.
"She was the best," Delahoussaye said. "Warren Stute (Go Go's trainer) has her on top of her game. She's been almost perfect in her last seven races now. Warren is always teasing me. 'You're the greatest,' he says, but it comes from that barn and him. He is a great horseman. When you have something to work with like that, you can do a good job."
Kalookan Queen set the early pace, racing a quarter-mile in :21.78 and a half-mile in :44.42, with Go Go in second and two lengths back at the latter call. Go Go edged ahead of the pacesetter in the stretch to earn the win, stopping the timer in stakes-record time of 1:08.09.
"She broke real sharp today, and I was happy with that," Delahoussaye said. "I let her settle. It was okay when the other two went by me, because this filly runs better from off the pace. She relaxes more.
"No, I didn't show her the stick today. You can't hit her. I showed the owners the last time I rode her. I did it on purpose. I knew I was going to win and I tapped her once just to show the owners why you don't hit her. They saw it and said they agreed with me. This filly gives you all she's got. You don't hit her. At the sixteenth pole, I thought I had Alex (Solis on Kalookan Queen). A little past the sixteenth pole, I wasn't sure. The other filly was running. She wasn't stopping. Mine ran in 1:08. She was really running."
Kalookan Queen came home second, four lengths clear of Wired to Fly. It was another seven lengths back to Nena Maka, with Images of Glory last of five.
Go Go began the year in the midst of a four-race winning streak, which was snapped in March with a nose-length defeat in the Irish O'Brien Stakes on Santa Anita's downhill turf course. She rebounded quickly from the defeat to win the Las Cienegas Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the same course in April. The Desert Stormer win is her second in succession and her seventh career win from 12 starts. She earned $63,600 for the victory to bring her career earnings just under the $400,000 mark. Go Go (Falstaff--Key Mist, by Plugged Nickle) was bred in California by Chris Ray and is owned by Thomas and Thomas Racing.
The odds-on choice in the five-horse field, Go Go returned $4.40, $2.40, and $2.10. Kalookan Queen paid $2.40 and $2.10. Wired to Fly returned $2.10 to show. The $1 exacta paid $4.50. (Chart, Equibase