Brazilian-Bred Macadamia Gets Her Stateside G1 in Gamely

May 29, 2023

Macadamia powers home under Tiago Pereira to win the Gamely (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

Santa Anita Press Box

ARCADIA, Calif.— Leading trainer Phil D’Amato’s international hit parade of stars on the turf continued on Memorial Day at Santa Anita, as his Brazilian-bred Macadamia rated kindly in the early going and powered to an impressive one length win over heavily favored Queen Goddess in Santa Anita’s Grade I, $400,000 Gamely Stakes. Ridden by Tiago Pereira, 5-year-old Macadamia got a mile and one eighth on turf in 1:48.01.

Next to last in a field of seven fillies and mares around the first turn, Macadamia slowly worked her way into contention heading to the far turn as she had two horses beat while about three lengths off pacesetter School Dance three furlongs from the money.

With Queen Goddess taking the lead a quarter mile out, Pereira swung four-deep, collared the favorite under confident handling leaving the furlong pole and drew clear to win as best.

“It’s a great feeling,” said D’Amato, who does most of his added money damage with Irish-breds. “She is a nice filly. I have to give Tiago a lot of credit for just getting on her every week, just breezing her and developing her. She was a quirky kind of backwards filly when we got her.

“She just needed to acclimate to North America. She’s taken he time and now she is a Grade I winner…(Tiago) has a great attitude in the morning and I think it translates to the horses,” continued D’Amato, who collected his meet-leading fifth stakes win and 13th overall victory.

A winner of the Grade III Wilshire going a mile on turf April 30, Macadamia was off at 6-1 and paid $14.40, $6.40 and $3.40.

To the winner’s circle for Macadamia (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

“Last time, my horse was really aggressive and a little green,” said Pereira, who got his second win of the day, giving him 15 for the meet, putting him third in the jockey standings, eight behind Juan Hernandez. “I’ve been working her and getting her to relax more and today she was really relaxed and on her game. I saw everyone in front of us and I was going to follow (the favorite) until the three eighths pole. She’s a really good filly. When it was time to go, she responded very well. I’m thankful for these great opportunities and I continue to work very hard.”

Owned by R Unicorn Stable, Macadamia, who is by the Sunday Silence stallion Hat Trick, collected her second stakes win and her fifth win from 13 overall starts. With the winner’s share of $240,000, she increased her earnings to $444,413.

Ridden by Hector Berrios, Irish-bred Quattroelle rallied from last to touch Queen Goddess by a nose for second and returned $6.60 and $3.40.

Off at 4-5 with Luis Saez, Queen Goddess had no apparent excuses as she finished 1 ¾ lengths in front of Irish-bred Viareggio while returning $2.20 to show.

Fractions on the Gamely were 24.06, 48.08, 1:11.87 and 1:36.17.

GRADE I, $400,000 GAMELY STAKES

JOCKEY QUOTES

TIAGO PEREIRA, MACADAMIA, WINNER: “Last time out, my horse was really aggressive and a little green. I’ve been working her and getting her to relax more and today she was really relaxed and on her game. I saw everyone in front of us and I was going to follow the 3 (Queen Goddess) until the three eighths pole. She’s a really good filly. When it was time to go, she responded very well. I’m thankful for these great opportunities and I continue to work very hard.”

TRAINER QUOTES

PHIL D’AMATO, MACADAMIA, WINNER: “It’s a great feeling. She is a nice filly. I have to give Tiago a lot of credit for just getting on her every week just breezing her and developing her. She was a quirky kind of backwards filly when we got her. She just needed to acclimate to North America. She’s taken her time and now she is a Grade I winner.
“(Tiago) is a great hand, a great horseman. When he first came here we won a lot of graded stakes together. We kind of went our own separate ways, I don’t know for what reason, but he’s come back with a fury. He has a great attitude in the morning and I think it translates to the horses.”

NOTES: The winning owner is R Unicorn Stable.

@jonathanstettin @bbopjz agree , but in my opinion Mr. Stettin remains second to none …….

Jimmy Williams (@matt918476) View testimonials

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