set a comfortable pace and
staved off a late challenge from Mystical Star to register her second stakes
win of 2012 with a neck victory in the Grade 3, $150,000 Long Island Handicap for
fillies and mares on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Kept several paths off the rail by Hall of Fame jockey Edgar
Prado, Starformer cut fractions of 52.37 and 1:18.13 over soft turf while
receiving token pressure from Hit It Rich, Kissable, and Mystical Star.
Mystical Star came up the inside on the far turn to offer
her bid, but couldn’t get past the throatlatch of Starformer, who held
resolutely in the stretch. Aigue Marine finished three-quarters of a length
behind the winner in third, a nose ahead of Tannery.
Starformer completed 1 ½ miles in 2:33.13 and paid $18 for a
$2 win wager at 8-1.
“It’s been raining and snowing, and a lot of the water goes
to the inside,” said Prado. “I had the No. 1 post position, so I had to come
running out of there and take her to the outside. It seemed like the plan
worked out beautiful. She was happy up there, enjoying the trip, and when the
other horse came to her she felt the other horse and picked it up at the end.
Me and her, we get along pretty good.”
Starformer, who began her career in France, won her first graded stakes in the Grade
3 Robert G. Dick Memorial in July at Delaware
Park and was second in
the Waya in August at Saratoga Race Course. Scratched from Belmont Park’s
Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational after the turf came up yielding, she instead
ran in the Grade 1 Spinster on October 7 over Keeneland’s Polytrack, finishing
“Nobody knows [how they will handle the soft going] until
you try,” said Rodolphe Brisset, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.
“We scratched her from the Flower Bowl thinking she may not handle the soft
going. She then ran a very good race in the Spinster; she was fourth. I guess
if you have to take a shot, it was today.”
Starformer, by Dynaformer and out of Group 1 winner Etoile
Montante, is 4-2-3 in 13 career starts. The 4-year-old has earned $349,794, including
$90,000 for her Long Island victory, for
owner/breeder Juddmonte Farms.
Hit It Rich was fifth, followed home by Senanda, favored
Kissable, and The West Rim.