Monday, August 25, 2008
A TANGIBLE REWARD FOR INTANGAROO IN THE BALLERINA
By Jenny Kellner
Trainer Gary Sherlock had one thing in mind when he brought Intangaroo from California to Saratoga Race Course: setting her up for year-end honors.
Sunday, the 4-year-old filly came through for the third time in as many Grade 1 starts this year, rallying six-wide around the turn and pulling clear to a 2 ¾-length victory over Miraculous Miss in the 30th running of the $250,000 Ballerina. Favored Sugar Swirl was another three parts of a length back in third.
“You just saw why we came to Saratoga,” said winning trainer Gary Sherlock. “This was a national stage; if we could win this it was three Grade 1 wins and she would be looking good for the Eclipse Award.”
The daughter of Orientate, ridden by Alonso Quinonez, was content to linger toward the back in the field of eight fillies and mares as Mistical Plan set fractions of 22.30 and 44.88. On the turn, Quinonez took her to the outside and responded with a strong late kick that carried her to the wire in 1:22.18.
“She relaxes pretty good when she is behind horses; when she is not, she wants to go,” said Quinonez, now 1-for-1 at the Spa. “When we turned for home, we angled to the outside and took off.”
Completing the order of finish behind Sugar Swirl were Leah’s Secret, Jibboom, Mistical Plan, Baroness Thatcher, and Bayou’s Lassie.
Sherlock, who trains Intangaroo for Tom Grether Farm, said she would train up to the Filly & Mare Sprint.
Intangaroo earned $150,000 to increase her lifetime earnings to $623,231 and her record to five victories in 13 starts. Sent off at 5-1, she returned $12.20 for a $2 win bet.
Winning trainer Gary Sherlock of Intangaroo (No. 1; trainer’s first time in Saratoga and first win): “You just saw why we came to Saratoga. She ran great at Churchill. The only time she really ran bad were those two races at Del Mar. This was a national stage: if we could win this, it was three Grade 1 wins and she would be looking good for the Eclipse Award. The next race will be the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, and I’m about this because I don’t have to worry about a Breeders’ Cup prep.” (see NOTES below).
Winning jockey Alonso Quinonez (first Saratoga winner): “It was my first time here and my first win, so I am excited. What can I say? I just followed instructions. I was a good passenger. She just did it all. We had it all mapped out. We said, `Just let her break.’ She relaxes pretty good when she is behind horses; when she’s not, she wants to go. So, I just kept her behind horses, and she was perfect.
“When we turned for home, we angled to the outside and took off.”
Steve Klesaris, trainer of runner-up Miraculous Miss (No. 7): “Intangaroo is a good filly. She beat us at Churchill; she’s tough. Regardless, `Miss’ always shows up. This was another Grade 1 race and everyone came with their running shoes.”
Ramon Dominguez, jockey of Miraculous Miss: “I had a great trip. We followed the winner, and we angled pretty wide turning for home and both of us finished pretty strongly. I was very pleased with my filly. ”
Javier Castellano, jockey of third-place finisher and beaten favorite Sugar Swirl (No. 2): “The trip was pretty good and she was game. She gave me everything she had today.”
NOTES: By winning the Ballerina, Intangaroo automatically qualifies for the $1 million, seven-furlong Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita on Friday, October 24. . . This is Intangaroo’s third Grade 1 victory of the year. Previously, she won the Santa Monica Handicap at Santa Anita and the Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs.
Read more articles in the Saratoga category.