Saturday’s 93rd running of the Test Stakes (G1) at Saratoga came down to two fillies – SEPARATIONOFPOWERS and Mia Mischief. The pair duked it out in the stretch of the $500,000 contest, with Klaravich Stables’ Separationofpowers inching forward in the shadow of the wire to get her neck in front on the line for the victory.
Mia Mischief dueled early with Classy Act through splits of :22.70 and :45.73 in the seven-furlong affair. Jockey Jose Ortiz had Separationofpowers back in fifth while four wide on the backstretch. The pair continued a wide trip when moving up to engage Mia Mischief on the turn, and the battle was on.
Separationofpowers and Mia Mischief raced in tandem down the lane, exchanging bumps along the way, before the former managed to pull off the win in a final time of 1:22.78. Sent off the 2-1 favorite against her seven rivals, she returned $6.60 for the score.
It was 3 1/2 lengths back to Kelly’s Humor, who rallied to stick her nose in front of Alter Moon on the wire to take third. Norma’s Charm followed in fifth by another 3 3/4 lengths, and completing the order of finish were Minit to Stardom, Classy Act and Spectator, who reared at the break, hit the gate and ran in last throughout.
Separationofpowers is now 6-3-0-1, $707,300 lifetime after earning her second Grade 1 victory. The Chad Brown trainee broke her maiden at Saratoga by 11 lengths in July 2017 and immediately stepped up to face stakes rivals when third next out in the Spinaway Stakes (G1) over the same venue. She stretched out to a mile for the Frizette Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park in her third lifetime effort and pulled off to a 3 1/2-length triumph.
The Candy Ride lass rounded out her two-year-old season shipping to Del Mar for a fourth-placing in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), but returned to New York right after that to ready for her sophomore campaign. Separationofpowers made her 2018 bow prior to this one in the Victory Ride Stakes (G3) on July 8 at Belmont, but stumbled at the start and steadied. She also found herself running wide in the back of the pack but rallied for fourth while beaten only 1 3/4 lengths on the wire.
Bred in Kentucky by Northwest Farms LLC, Separationofpowers is the first registered stakes winner out of the Empire Maker mare Shehadmefromhello.
TEST STAKES QUOTES
Chad Brown, trainer Separationofpowers, winner
“It was a thrilling stretch run. I feel so fortunate she came out on top. She showed her heart and determination. I’m just so proud of my filly, how she showed so much heart to come out on top there. I thought (jockey) Jose (Ortiz) rode such an outstanding race from start to finish. They’re a good combination, those two.
“Last time (in the Victory Ride), we just wanted to get her started. This filly was injured after her run in the Breeders’ Cup last year and had been going under a lot of rehab and patience to bring her back. To bring her back to her race at Belmont and to have her stumble so bad out of the gate, she came back a little banged up. She grabbed her quarter, had a bunch of scratches all over her.
“I actually wasn’t sure I’d make the Test with her. Then she came around a couple of weeks later, started breezing again, got to feel her health again, and we came back with a beautiful clean break and a good run.”
Jose Ortiz, jockey Separationofpowers, winner
“Last time, she stumbled real bad. She broke clean today and she had a huge chance to win the race and she did. I tried to keep her clean, have a clean trip in the turn. I went a little bit wider than I wanted to, but I didn’t want to get in trouble because she had a good shot. I just rode her like the best horse and I’m glad everything worked out.”
Steve Asmussen, trainer Mia Mischief, second
“She ran a really good race. She got beat by a Grade 1 winner and obviously, we’d like the outcome to be about a neck different, but we’re very proud of the filly and we’re honored to have her.”