If there were an Eclipse Award for champion stayer, the 2021 title would surely belong to Lone Rock. A runaway winner of the Brooklyn S. (G2) during the spring, Lone Rock picked up his fourth long-distance stakes win of the season when battling to victory in the $300,000 Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance S. (G2) racing 1 5/8 miles.
Facing just four rivals, Lone Rock was content to employ pressing tactics under jockey Ramon Vazquez, settling into second position as key rival Tizamagician—racing well off the rail—strolled along through controlled fractions of :48.74, 1:13.90, 1:39.53, and 2:04.80.
But as the field rounded the final turn, Lone Rock began to advance, rolling up alongside Tizamagician to challenge for command. The six-year-old gelding reached even terms early in the homestretch and soon edged away to prevail by 1 1/2 lengths, stopping the timer in the track-record time of 2:42.61. Cupid’s Claws gamely chased the top pair to finish third, while Hapi Hapi and Locally Owned trailed the field.
Racing for the partnership of Flying P Stable and R. A. Hill Stable, Lone Rock has made impressive progress since being claimed by trainer Robertino Diodoro in November 2020. He’s compiled a stellar 8-6-2-0 record this season while pushing his career earnings to $1,024,921, the vast majority earned in 2021. A son of Majestic Warrior, Lone Rock was bred in Kentucky by Town & Country Horse Farms and Pollock Farms.
A little more than half an hour later, three-year-old filly Going Global enhanced her already illustrious resume with a victory over older rivals in the $300,000 Goldikova S. (G2) racing one mile on grass. The Phil D’Amato trainee relished the Del Mar lawn when nabbing the Del Mar Oaks (G1) during the summer, and she reiterated her affinity for the course with an impressive performance on Saturday.
As usual, Going Global wasn’t in any hurry to challenge for early supremacy, settling behind rivals in fifth place as 11-10 favorite Princess Grace dashed to the front through fractions of :23.22, :47.55, and 1:11.34. But as soon as Going Global shifted out for racing room in the homestretch, the response was instantaneous—she absolutely exploded under jockey Flavien Prat to beat ground-saving Zofelle by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:34.57.
Princess Grace held on to finish third over Abscond, followed by Bodhicitta, Constantia, Ippodamia’s Girl, and Glesga Gal. But none could match the homestretch acceleration of Going Global, who rocketed the final furlong in approximately :11 1/5 to record her sixth stakes win (five of them graded) from seven starts in 2021.
Owned by the partnership of CYBT, Michael Dubb, Saul Gevertz, Michael Nentwig, and Ray Pagano, Going Global began her career with four modest efforts in Ireland, but has developed into a top-class turf filly since arriving in the United States. The 2022 Breeders’ Cup is surely a viable target for the daughter of Mehmas, who was bred in Ireland by N. Hartery.