Summer Wind Equine’s Golden Award upstaged Grade 1 winners Wow Cat and She’s a Julie to score her first stakes victory in Sunday’s $194,000 Shuvee (G3) at Saratoga. As a half-sister to 2012 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1) champion I’ll Have Another, the Medaglia d’Oro filly enhanced her broodmare value while continuing her upward spiral.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott and ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, Golden Award was coming off a near-miss in the Allaire DuPont Distaff (G3) at Pimlico. She ranked as the 3-1 third choice here, with bettors going for the more accomplished Wow Cat at even-money and She’s a Julie at 8-5.
Electric Forest would have come in for support too, but she was scratched along with Coach Rocks (runner-up to Midnight Bisou in Saturday’s Molly Pitcher [G3]) and longshot Skeptic. All three were pace factors who promised to contribute to a solid tempo.
In their absence, the rail-drawn She’s a Julie employed her tactical speed to take charge, only she was in no hurry through an opening quarter in :25.24. Golden Award applied pressure and matched strides with her down the backstretch, poking her head in front at the half in :50.24, but She’s a Julie drew right back even in their duel. By the six-furlong mark in 1:13.88, Golden Award was getting the upper hand. She’s a Julie was under pressure, and try though she might, couldn’t hang with the eventual winner into the stretch.
Wow Cat, resurfacing for the first time since her second in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), was reserved between Pink Sands and Forever Liesl just off the pace. Advancing on the far turn, the former Chilean Horse of the Year hinted at a challenge to Golden Award but soon flattened out.
Golden Award kept on rolling, widening her margin to 2 1/4 lengths and finishing 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.64. Compare three-year-old filly Guarana’s 1:49.65 in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1), which was slightly faster early.
Wow Cat churned on to take second in her Shuvee comeback for the second straight year, three-quarters of a length to the good of She’s a Julie, who was spotting weight all around. The 124-pound highweight, She’s a Julie gave Golden Award six pounds and Wow Cat four. The rest of the field was strung out, with Pink Sands and Forever Liesl well beaten by the far turn.
Bred by Harvey A. Clarke in Kentucky, Golden Award improved her resume to 9-4-3-0, $294,600. The May 22 foal from the Arch mare Arch’s Gal Edith didn’t make it to the races at two, and took four starts to break her maiden last season. As a fall sophomore, though, she hit her stride and rapidly followed up her Belmont Park win with a Churchill Downs allowance score.
Golden Award completed a hat trick in a second-level allowance at Gulfstream Park in January. Upped in class for the April 19 Doubledogdare (G3) at Keeneland, she tired to fourth in the slop as the 8-5 favorite. The bay took a leap forward in the DuPont Distaff, where she missed in a photo to Mylady Curlin.
The Shuvee is a course-and-distance stepping stone to the August 24 Personal Ensign (G1), a Breeders’ Cup Distaff “Win and You’re In” that is expected to feature Elate and Midnight Bisou. Wow Cat is eligible to strip fitter from this tightener, and Golden Award could keep progressing, setting the stage for a terrific renewal.
Quotes from NYRA
Winning rider Tyler Gaffalione: “The trip set up nicely. She broke alertly and put herself in a good position. She was kind of keen a little bit down the backside but we were going awfully slow, so I just let her out a little bit and put my hands down and she just kept reaching and reaching. When I asked her coming into the stretch, she really exploded and finished the job.
“Mr. Mott and I spoke in the paddock because last time she did the same thing; she ranged up there really easily and she just kind of hung. Today, he said, ‘Don’t wait on her and if you have the opportunity, go ahead and ask her and make them come get you,’ and he was right. He had her 100 percent ready and all the credit goes to him and his team.”
Jockey Jose Ortiz on runner-up Wow Cat: “They were going easy up front, but they were going head on at each other. I got a shot to get outside by the three-eighths pole. She gave me a good run but the filly in front also finished up strong. It was her first race off the layoff. I think she should move forward from this.”