LA SIGNARE took the lead soon after the start of Thursday’s $200,000 Wonder Again Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park and never looked back en route to a one-length win with jockey Joel Rosario aboard.
The Brian Lynch trainee posted splits of :26.36, :50.95, 1:14.54 and 1:36.17 while tracked throughout by heavy 4-5 favorite Significant Form. After setting such a pedestrian pace, La Signare had enough in reserve to withstand Significant Form’s rally in the lane, completing 1 1/8 miles over the firm inner turf in 1:48.84. She returned $14.60 as the 6-1 third choice.
It was a blanket finish for the next three spots, with Significant Form just holding second by a neck over Mighty Scarlett, who in turn stuck her neck in front of Daddy Is a Legend to take third. Altea followed in fifth and rounding out the order of finish were Andina Del Sur, Camila Princess, Armoricaine and Spinning Top
La Signare was making just her fourth career start in this spot, and only her second since arriving from her native France. The sophomore daughter of Siyouni ran fourth in her debut before breaking her maiden in early November, both at Toulouse. Next time she appeared on track it was at Keeneland and the bay filly just missed by a half-length in an allowance while making her seasonal bow on April 11.
La Signare is campaigned by Madaket Stables LLC, Tim and Anna Cambron, and Bradley Thoroughbreds, and improved her career record to read 4-2-1-0, $144,409.
Bred by Moussa Mbacke, La Signare is out of the Beat Hollow mare La Teranga and comes from the same female family as 2016 Melbourne Cup (Aus-G1) conqueror Almandin
WONDER AGAIN QUOTES
Joel Rosario, jockey La Signare, winner
“This one had some speed, that’s for sure. She ran very good. She ran nice early, and ran very good after that. She relaxed very nicely and had a long slow gallop early, and before turning for home, I said, ‘well it’s great, because I know we were going slow,’ and she handled it really well. Good run. I like her. It’s always good when they run like that.”
Brian Lynch, trainer La Signare, winner
“I didn’t really think there was a lot of speed in the race, so it was going to be a bit of a cat and mouse game. I’m always a big believer that pace makes the race, so we put her where she was comfortable and evidently that’s where she was comfortable. She had been doing so well coming into the race, so it didn’t surprise me that that’s where she ended up.
“If she was able to relax, I had a feeling that she could get a mile and an eighth. If they let her get away with easy fractions, I knew she wasn’t going to be short. To take that step (to the Belmont Oaks [G1]) we needed to run here. It’s nice when a plan comes together.”
One race earlier, Team Valor International’s LA SARDANE overcame a bumpy start to stalk the early pace in the $200,000 Intercontinental Stakes (G3), was four wide in the lane and just ran down pacesetter Faypien to score a neck victory under jockey Flavien Prat.
Sent off the 4-1 third choice, the Neil Drysdale pupil returned $10.80 for the win after finishing seven furlongs on the firm Widener turf in 1:20.04.
Faypien, who set the opening splits of :22.87 and :45.43, just held by a nose for second over Heavenly Score. It was another length back to Malibu Stacy, who in turn had a nose to spare on 23-1 longshot Always Thinking. Delectation, 5-2 favorite Stormy Victoria and Thundering Sky completed the order of finish.
La Sardane was making just her third U.S. start in this spot, having captured an allowance/optional claimer last out at Churchill Downs on May 3. The bay daughter of Kingsalsa began her career in her native France, scoring a Group 2 triumph in her finale before shipping stateside, and now boasts a 10-4-3-1, $268,931 career mark.
Bred by SCEA Plessis & Jean Guillemin, La Sardane is out of the listed-placed Forestier mare Foresta, who is a half-sister to Group 1-placed listed winner Milanais.
INTERCONTINENTAL STAKES QUOTES
Neil Drysdale, trainer La Sardane, winner
“She’s coming along well now. She had a long time off, but Team Valor just said take your time with her, so we gave her plenty of time off. The first race back, things didn’t go quite according to plan, but in the next race, we could see what she was. We cut her back in distance just to teach her and settle her. I think it’s working out well so far.”