Mystical Star came up the inside on the far turn to offer her bid, but couldn’t get past the throatlatch of Starformer, who held resolutely in the stretch. Aigue Marine finished three-quarters of a length behind the winner in third, a nose ahead of Tannery.
Starformer completed 1 ½ miles in 2:33.13 and paid $18 for a $2 win wager at 8-1.
“It’s been raining and snowing, and a lot of the water goes to the inside,” said Prado. “I had the No. 1 post position, so I had to come running out of there and take her to the outside. It seemed like the plan worked out beautiful. She was happy up there, enjoying the trip, and when the other horse came to her she felt the other horse and picked it up at the end. Me and her, we get along pretty good.”
Starformer, who began her career in France, won her first graded stakes in the Grade 3 Robert G. Dick Memorial in July at Delaware Park and was second in the Waya in August at Saratoga Race Course. Scratched from Belmont Park’s Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational after the turf came up yielding, she instead ran in the Grade 1 Spinster on October 7 over Keeneland’s Polytrack, finishing fourth.
“Nobody knows [how they will handle the soft going] until you try,” said Rodolphe Brisset, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. “We scratched her from the Flower Bowl thinking she may not handle the soft going. She then ran a very good race in the Spinster; she was fourth. I guess if you have to take a shot, it was today.”
Starformer, by Dynaformer and out of Group 1 winner Etoile Montante, is 4-2-3 in 13 career starts. The 4-year-old has earned $349,794, including $90,000 for her Long Island victory, for owner/breeder Juddmonte Farms.
Hit It Rich was fifth, followed home by Senanda, favored Kissable, and The West Rim