In the week leading up to the 86th
running of the Grade 1, $250,000 Test Stakes, trainer Mike Puype called the
a “resume” race for his 3-year-old star Turbulent Descent.
Puype traveled east from his base at Del Mar in search of
greatness, and his brilliant bay daughter of Congrats delivered the signature
performance he was looking for, winning the seven-furlong Test in electrifying
style Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.
powerful acceleration at the three-sixteenth pole, Turbulent Descent surged out
and around leader Roman Treasure and on to a 3 ¾-length victory over a resilient
Pomeroy’s Pistol in a time of 1:24.17. Roman Treasure finished third.
As the 4-5 favorite in the field of eight, Turbulent Descent returned
$3.90 for a $2 win bet. The
$150,000 winner's share of the purse pushed her career earnings to
winner’s circle after the race, Puype quietly championed Turbulent Descent, who
has now won six of eight career starts, including two other Grade 1 races in
just absolutely – there’s not enough you can say – it’s a breathtaking race,” he
said. “She’ll take on any horse out there at this distance. It puts her right to
the top of the division. She’s the favorite to win the Breeders’ Cup Filly &
morning of the race, Puype uncharacteristically sent Turbulent Descent out to
the main track for a mile gallop, saying he just wanted to familiarize the filly
with her surroundings for her first race at Saratoga . Puype, too, had never raced a horse
at the Spa.
afternoon, she clearly took to the surface, labeled fast during the race run in
a light rain.
the gate opened, Roman Treasure bumped with American Lady and set out for the
front, racing through a quarter-mile in 23.02 and a half in 45.85. Jockey David
Flores set up Turbulent Descent in fourth place, clear and tracking the leader
on the outside, 4 ½ lengths back.
Pomeroy’s Pistol broke sharply at the start before rider John Velazquez took her
back to third place.
chasing the pace in second, American Lady fell back as Turbulent Descent
thought I was going to be a little bit further back, but the pace was not as
fast as I thought it was going to be and that put me in the best spot,”
Flores said. “So, I just waited; there was
nobody to worry about and around the half mile I just pointed out and she
started making a run. I just let her be herself.”
Owned by Blinkers On Racing Stable,
William Strauss, David Aurelio, et al, Turbulent Descent beat the field
easily under a brisk hand ride.
right there,” said Velazquez about his trip on Pomeroy’s Pistol, “and when the
other horse got to me I moved with them, but I didn’t have enough to keep
Smile, winner of the Grade 1 Prioress, finished fourth, followed by Coax
Liberty, Salty Strike, Ava K. and American Lady.
said Turbulent Descent would be flown home Monday morning and likely wouldn’t
run again before the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint on November 4 at
put herself in a new financial category today,” Puype said, “and she’s in line
to win an Eclipse Award.