Haveyougoneaway gets her first Grade 1 in the Ballerina

August 27, 2016 11:31am

Haveyougoneaway rallied from off the pace and turned away nine other fleet-footed fillies and mares to capture the Grade 1, $500,000 Ballerina at Saratoga Race Course Saturday, and in the process earned a spot in the starting gate for the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.

The Ballerina is a "Win and You're In" qualifying event for the Breeders' Cup, which will be contested at Santa Anita Park in November 

Dispatched at 10-1 and ridden confidently by Hall of Famer John Velazquez, the 5-year-old daughter of Congrats bided her time behind an opening quarter-mile in 23.39 seconds. Carina Mia, the even-money favorite, joined Paulassilverlining and By the Moon and struck the front as they handled the half-mile in 45:54 while Haveyougoneaway traveled easily in fourth through the turn.

At the top of the lane, Velazquez got Haveyougoneaway into the clear, where she launched her rally and then dug down deep to prevail by a half-length. She crossed the wire in 1:21.63 for the seven furlongs on a fast track. By the Moon was second, one length in front of Carina Mia.

"I had a perfect trip," said Velazquez. "She broke well and got in good position. I was just trying to follow Joel Rosario there [No. 10, Carina Mia]. Then, all of a sudden, he took off at the half-mile pole and I sat there decided to wait. I didn't want to make a premature move. When I asked at the quarter-pole she responded right away. I was right next to Carina Mia so I knew we were going a bit slow. When she went on at the half-mile pole I was just patient. I didn't want to get involved early, so I waited to the quarter-pole and it worked out good."

Gary Barber and Sequel Racing purchased the New-York bred Haveyougoneaway in the spring and sent her to the barn of up-and-coming trainer Tom Morley. Making her fourth start for her new connections in the Ballerina, she notched her first Grade 1 win.

The win was also the first career Grade 1 stakes victory for Morley.

"I'm dripping in sweat," said Morley. "I'm glad my assistant hosed me down. What a thrill. You can't beat that. It's Saratoga, we just won a Grade 1. It's as good as it gets, it really is. The first Grade 1 means everything. It's the Ballerina, it doesn't get much bigger than this. It's Travers Day, we're here in Saratoga. That's the icing on the cake.

"There was a question mark about [the pace] and I said to Johnny [Velazquez] in the paddock, 'I don't know whether they're going to go a rattling good pace here. There's no signed-on speed. There's fillies that have been prominently placed before.' This filly, she's good enough to win going six [furlongs] and she's got plenty of gears; you can be tactical with her. We knew she'd stay; she'd only just got there in the Honorable Miss and she ran a very good second to Bar of Gold going a mile at Belmont. The seven-eighths is absolutely her wheelhouse and Johnny had her in the right spot the whole race. It was a great ride and a great result."

In qualifying for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, Haveyougoneaway will give Morley his first entrant in the championship event.

"Now obviously we'll have to plot our route to California carefully," said the trainer. "She's run three times in pretty quick succession. She ran at the back end of Belmont and won a stake, came up here and won opening week and then came back and won the Ballerina in just under four weeks. She's had three big efforts in relatively quick succession, so we might just train up to the Breeders' Cup."

Michelle Nevin, who trains By the Moon, was proud of the runner-up's performance.

"She ran a winning race today," Nevin said. "I'm very happy with her. It was a big effort. She fits in well with these [Grade 1] horses."

Haveyougoneaway has now won 11 of her 26 starts and improved her earnings to $897,425. She returned $22.00 for a $2 win wager.

Birdatthewire, Paulassilverlining, Wavell Avenue, Spelling Again, Sheer Drama, Sarah Sis and Linda Linda completed the order of finish. 

Source: NYRA Communications


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