Favored Kitten's Dumplings, rallying from well off the pace, registered a narrow victory in the $200,000 Lake George Stakes (gr. II) July 24 at Saratoga Race Course for her third consecutive stakes win (VIDEO).
Ridden confidently by Joel Rosario, Kitten's Dumplings continued her ascent in the rankings of the 3-year-old female turf division, defeating Watsdachances by half a length as the 3-2 favorite in the field of seven.
Kitten's Dumplings was coming off back-to-back scores in the Edgewood and Regret (gr. III) stakes at Churchill Downs for owners/breeders Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trainer Mike Maker. The winning bay filly is by Kitten's Joy out of the winning Grand Slam mare Granny Franny.
The final time for 1 1/16-mile test was 1:42.21 over an inner turf course rated good.
Rosario angled Kitten's Dumplings to the rail soon after the start and they raced in sixth, behind Watsdachances, as Midnight Watch spurted to a 6 1/2-length lead while carving fractions of :23.55 and :46.45. Tapicat, racing second, cut the advantage to three lengths as they stepped six furlongs in 1:10.95.
Tapicat, ridden by Mike Smith, was given her cue at the top of the lane and she ran down the leader approaching mid-stretch and fought gamely past the sixteenth pole before giving way to Kitten's Dumplings, who closed with authority while five wide coming off the turn. Kitten's Dumplings edged away as as the Irish-bred filly Watsdachances also came on. Watsdachances settled for second by a neck over Tapicat with Javier Castellano aboard.
"I was a little far behind, but that's how she likes to run," Rosario said of the winner. "We got the money. She has a really nice kick, but she can hang a little bit, so I'm always careful to time it. I was hoping they'd go quick in front, and my horse has a little bit of speed, but if you use her early she won't give it to you turning for home."
Kitten's Dumplings ran her career mark to 5-1-0 in 10 starts with earnings of $433,262. She is the second foal to race and second winner for her dam.
Winless in her first three starts of 2013, Kitten's Dumplings picked up her first victory of the year in May at Churchill when she was allowed to drop far off the early pace and rallied to take the Edgewood by 3 3/4 lengths. On June 15, also at Churchill, she came from 16 lengths back and finished full of run to win the Regret by 2 1/4 lengths.
"Joel rides her great," Maker said. "She was a little wide around the turn but she finished strong, as always. On paper it looked like there was plenty of pace. You can't change her running style, so it worked out well."
Carrying co-high weight of 122 pounds, she paid $5, $2.70, $2.10. Watsdachances returned $3.70 and $2.70, capping a $15.80 exacta. Second choice Tapicat paid $2.80 to show in a chalky finish. Midnight Watch, Fab Flowers, Blossom's Trail, and Maximova completed the order.
Skyfall was entered for the main track only.