to her own devices on the front end, long shot Inimitable Romanee set a
dawdling pace and had plenty in reserve late to hold off Tabreed by one
length and spring a 28-1 upset on Saturday in Aqueduct Racetrack's
Grade 3, $200,000 Long Island Handicap for turf fillies and mares.
Photo: New York Daily News
Romanee, who had previously placed in six stakes for New York-breds,
received token pressure from her stablemate, Strathnaver, during the
early stages of the 1 ½-mile Long Island as she ran the opening
half-mile in 53.62 seconds and three-quarters in 1:20.65.
running one mile in 1:46.29 and 1 ¼ miles in 2:10.19, Inimitable
Romanee dispatched Strathnaver and spurted clear under jockey Chris
DeCarlo's left-handed urging while Tabreed rallied along the rail to nab
second. Tabreed finished a half-length clear of Left a Message, who was
1 ¼ lengths clear of Strathnaver in fourth.
Romanee, the longest shot on the board, returned $58.50 for a $2 win
wager and completed the distance over "good" turf in 2:34.28 in
registering her first stakes victory.
didn't think there was any real speed in there," said DeCarlo. "I was
pretty sure that if I did make the lead, no one was going to push me
because she was [28-1]. My plan was all along that if I was able to make
a comfortable lead, when I hit the turn I was going to open up, see how
much I had left, and get as much separation between me and the rest of
the field as possible. That's what happened. When I finally dropped her
head, she gave me an unbelievable turn of foot. It was like she re-broke
out of the gate."
Long Island was the first win in seven starts this year for Inimitable
Romanee, who had finished second in the Mount Vernon in June at Belmont
Park and the On the Bus overnight stakes in July at Saratoga Race
Course. She reported home third in Saratoga's Yaddo in August and
Belmont's John Hettinger in September, and in her previous start was
eighth after hitting the gate at the start in the Ticonderoga on October
19 at Belmont.
a deserving mare, a hard-knocking mare, who deserved to win [a
stakes]," said H. Graham Motion, who trains Inimitable Romanee for
Gallagher's Stud. "She had been knocking heads with some hard-knocking
fillies. It just goes to show you how tough those New York-breds have
Romanee, a 5-year-old homebred by Maria's Mon and out of Grade
3-winning turf runner Cellars Shiraz, is 3-6-5 in 20 starts. Her Long
Island victory, worth $120,000, lifted her career earnings to $323,875.
White Rose, Aigue Marine, and Sheppard's Pie completed the order of finish. Anjaz, the morning-line favorite, was scratched.