Cairo Sugar Upsets $100K Maddie May at 27-1

February 19, 2023

Cairo Sugar takes them all the way at big odds in the Maddie May (Chelsea Durand)

By Mary Eddy – NYRA Press Office

OZONE PARK, N.Y.— AP Stable’s Cairo Sugar, the largest price in a six-horse field, provided a pacesetting upset in Sunday’s $100,000 Maddie May, a one-mile test for New York-bred sophomore fillies, at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Trained by Alan Bedard, Cairo Sugar underwent a shoe repair to her left front hoof in the paddock, but showed no signs of hinderance as she led the field through every point of call to notch the first stakes victory of her career. The daughter of Cairo Prince made it two in-a-row after taking a local state-bred maiden special weight by five lengths going the Maddie May distance on January 19.

Cairo Sugar broke cleanly from the inside post under regular pilot Andrew Wolfsont in the Maddie May and allowed the Jose Gomez-piloted Luna Loca to put her head in front for the first 100 yards from the gate. Wolfsont roused Cairo Sugar to take command shortly after the field exited the chute and covered the opening quarter-mile in 23.56 seconds over the fast main track with Luna Loca and post-time favorite Les Bon Temps tracking to her outside.

Sweetest Princess advanced from fourth position under Manny Franco mid-turn as Luna Loca reached even terms with Cairo Sugar through a half-mile in 47.39. Sweetest Princess came under a strong ride at the top of the lane with Les Bon Temps ready to pounce in the three-path, but Cairo Sugar had something left in the tank when asked by Wolfsont and was set down for the drive to the wire with Luna Loca giving chase in second.

Les Bon Temps ran on strongly down the center of the racetrack and displayed her usual closing kick as she inched closer to overtake second position from a stubborn Luna Loca, but could not reel in Cairo Sugar, who crossed the wire 1 1/4 lengths in front to complete the mile in a final time of 1:38.44.

Sweetest Princess stayed on to complete the trifecta 1 3/4 lengths behind Les Bon Temps with I’mhavingamoment finishing fourth by a nose over Luna Loca. Starry Midnight completed the order of finish.

Wolfsont, who has won with 3-of-6 stakes mounts at Aqueduct, has shown a proclivity for posting upset victories in stakes here, including the 2021 Artie Schiller with Mandate [$91.50] and the Grade 3 Toboggan in January with Repo Rocks [$22.40]. Wolfsont said Cairo Sugar was game to the wire today.

“I got into her because that was the game plan,” said Wolfsont. “I was hoping they would give me an easy lead, but I definitely wasn’t expecting that. Once I saw Jose Gomez wasn’t committed to the lead, I figured I would just let her get comfortable a length in front. She took off a little faster than I was expecting, so I eased her back a little bit and got her in a nice and relaxed rhythm and she had plenty left in the tank.”

Cairo Sugar made her sixth career start in the Maddie May and first with a new type of bit that Bedard has used successfully on his multiple stakes-placed trainee, Tic Tic Tic Boom.

“In her last couple races, she was bearing in down the lane and some young horses will tend to do that sometimes, just getting away from the stick,” said Bedard, who won the third stakes of his career and first over the main track. “We went a little more left-handed and changed the bit on her. We used a straight-mouth, sweet-mouth bit – it’s not a snaffle, it doesn’t bend in her mouth and I use that on my other stakes horse and it worked wonders for her. I gave it a shot and it looked like it worked wonders today.”

Bedard said he is confident the new equipment allowed Cairo Sugar to turn the tables on I’mhavingamoment, who bested her by three lengths in a maiden special weight on December 30 here.

“The last time we ran against the six [I’mhavingamoment] we were second best, and that’s the day she was getting in and we thought a little more distance and not getting in she could go by,” said Bedard, who has won with 3-of-4 starters at the Big A winter meet. “Today, she got it done.”

Although a next start for Cairo Sugar is still to be determined, Bedard said turf could be in her future.

“I’m really not sure. Our initial plan was to give her a couple weeks off and then freshen her up for turf because the Cairo Princes are certainly running very well on the turf,” said Bedard. “We’ll see what’s next and how she comes out of the race.”

Bred by Kaz Hill Farm, Cairo Sugar is out of the multiple graded stakes-winning Awesome Again mare Spun Sugar and was a $6,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Preferred New York-bred Yearlings Sale. She banked $55,000 in victory, increasing her total purse earnings to $123,107 and returning $57.50 for a $2 win ticket.

Lezcano said Les Bon Temps, who made her first start for conditioner Linda Rice since being purchased privately out of a win in the NYSSS Fifth Avenue on December 17, gave her best effort.

“I think she ran a good race. The other filly just kept going,” said Lezcano. “I thought I was in a good position the whole way. When I asked her, she stayed even and never really kicked for home.”

Live racing resumes Monday at the Big A with an eight-race card, featuring the $100,000 Haynesfield in Race 6. First post is 1:20 p.m. Eastern. 

@jonathanstettin Well done per usual. A true horseplayer who can articulate nicely #keepitup.

@whorseplayer View testimonials