November 30, 2023

Carla’s Way rolls in Breeders’ Cup WAYI Rockfel

Breeders' Cup Statue at Santa Anita Park (Photo by Harold Roth/

One of the sharpest maiden winners earlier in the season, Carla’s Way took a while to make good on that debut promise, but she broke through in style in Friday’s Rockfel (G2) at Newmarket. The Simon and Ed Crisford trainee bounded long clear by the time that favored Shuwari picked up from off the pace, earning a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).

Carla’s Way had advertised her Royal Ascot claims when driving to a 2 1/4-length victory in her June 3 unveiling at Doncaster. Dispatched as the favorite for the Albany (G3), she failed to perform to expectations in eighth behind Porta Fortuna.

Yet her maiden form was working out pretty well, suggesting that Carla’s Way might be heard from again. After undergoing a procedure to correct a breathing issue, she returned with an encouraging second in the Prestige (G3) to Darnation, who came back to win the May Hill (G2).

Unlike the soft going in Goodwood’s Prestige, Carla’s Way was back on a quicker course at Newmarket. The Starspangledbanner filly appeared to be enjoying herself throughout the seven-furlong test. With James Doyle aboard, she traveled smartly in second observing the pacesetter Spiritual, then pounced and stamped her authority by daylight in 1:23.01.

Shuwari, in contrast, put herself out of position early with a tardy start. Rallying belatedly, the 13-8 favorite got no nearer than 2 1/4 lengths at the wire. Ylang Ylang likewise got going once the race was virtually over and wound up another 2 1/2 lengths adrift in third. Spiritual faded to fourth, followed by Zenjabeela and Carolina Reaper. Alshinfarah and Marcella were scratched.

Campaigned by Shaikh Duaij al Khalifa, Carla’s Way sports a record of 4-2-1-0. The chestnut is under consideration for the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita, where her tactical style and affinity for faster ground make her a logical player. Stablemate Algiers is aiming to solidify his Dirt Mile (G1) ambitions in the Woodward (G2), now moved to Sunday at Aqueduct.

Carla’s Way was bred by Grove Stud and David Spratt in Ireland and sold for approximately $437,000 at the Goffs UK Breeze-up Sale. Her dam, the New Approach mare Sulaalaat, hails from the family of multiple Group 1-winning highweight The Fugue, who suffered tough beats in both of her Breeders’ Cup appearances at Santa Anita. The Fugue was a traffic-ridden third in the 2012 Filly & Mare Turf (G1) and runner-up in the 2013 Turf (G1).