a nose to the wire, Caroline Thomas was declared the winner of the
Grade 2, $200,000 Woodford Reserve Lake Placid when the first-place
finisher, Nellie Cashman, was disqualified to third for interfering with
Watsdachances in the stretch on Sunday at Saratoga Race Course.
the gate opened, even-money favorite Tapicat bounded to the lead and
took the field of seven 3-year-old fillies through an opening half-mile
in 48.13 seconds over the inner turf course. Still in front turning for
home, Tapicat's grip on the lead became increasingly tenuous by
midstretch and she was engulfed by a crowded cadre of closers including
Nellie Cashman, Caroline Thomas and Watsdachances.
fastest of all was Nellie Cashman, who took over with a sixteenth of a
mile to travel and hit the wire first, but the long shot drifted out and
interfered with Watsdachances, who wound up third, a neck behind
Caroline Thomas. Following a claim of foul by Watsdachances' jockey
Javier Castellano and a stewards' inquiry, Nellie Cashman was
disqualified to third, and Caroline Thomas, who was also carried out
while closing from fifth, was placed first. Watsdachances was moved up
though we were lucky to be put up for the win, I thought my filly
really ran a winning race," said jockey Rosie Napravnik, aboard Caroline
Thomas. "I had a lot of confidence in her and she ran excellent."
The final time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:47.36 over the firm turf.
ran a splendid race," said Barclay Tagg, who trains Caroline Thomas for
Joyce Young. "Whether we got put up or not, she was only beaten a
couple of inches."
victory was the first of the year for Caroline Thomas, a homebred
daughter of Giant's Causeway out of the Grade 1-winning mare Bit of
Whimsy, who also was trained by Tagg. Most recently, Caroline Thomas
finished seventh in the My Princess Jess on July 20 at the Spa after
losing contact with the field early on.
been a little guarded about her this summer because her races haven't
unfolded right," said Tagg. "The speed would get away from her each time
and sometimes she was way, way, way too far back. I talked it over with
Rosie ahead of time and I had her breeze her the other day. I thought
she was in tip-top shape. I had a lot of confidence in her or I wouldn't
have put her in there."
off at 11-1, Caroline Thomas returned $25.30 for a $2 win bet and
earned $120,000, more than doubling her bankroll to $230,734.
big plan was the Grade 1's in the fall, and I thought we weren't going
to get her to them if we didn't run her somewhere," said Tagg. "We had
the Grade 1 Garden City [September 14, Belmont Park] and the Queen
Elizabeth II [October 12] that her mother [Bit of Whimsy] won at
Keeneland in mind all along, but our confidence was wavering a little
bit with all the problems she had trying to get going in the races."
Tapicat, who finished third in the Grade 2 Lake George on July 24 last time out, wound up fifth, a half-length behind Concise.
had a great trip," said Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott of Tapicat. "Our
test was to see if she'd get nine furlongs, and it looks like we'd
better stick with races around a mile."
Completing the other of finish were Silsita and Broken Spell.