SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Klein Racing’s Goin’ Good has demonstrated class and ability through her first six starts but is still seeking a breakthrough stakes triumph. The daughter of Congrats, who is 0-for-3 at stakes level, will get her opportunity to strike gold in Sunday’s ninth running of the $120,000 Coronation Cup for sophomore fillies going 5 ½ furlongs over the Mellon turf at Saratoga Race Course.
The Coronation Cup, which shares its name with a prestigious Group 1 event at Epsom Downs in Great Britain, honors Rokeby Stable’s graded stakes-winner and half-sister to 1993 Kentucky Derby and Travers winner Sea Hero, as well as prolific broodmare Wild Applause. She hails from the prestigious La Troienne broodmare line.
The Kentucky homebred, trained by Brad Cox, enters from an allowance victory on June 12 at Churchill Downs going the Coronation Cup distance, garnering a career-best 87 Beyer Speed Figure. This effort came after a close but troubled fifth in the Mamzelle at five furlongs on May 8 at Churchill Downs, where she was shuffled back to eighth position in the early stages and made an inside rally in upper stretch to finish 1 ¼ lengths shy of victory.
“Having a little more than five-eighths helps her a little bit,” Cox said. “She’s not the quickest thing in the world. Sometimes it can take her a couple of jumps to really get in position, but once she gets away from there, she’s capable of putting herself in a nice tactical spot.”
After commencing her career with two victories on the grass, Goin’ Good finished second in her 3-year-old bow in the Dixie Belle on February 28 at Oaklawn Park, beaten a length in her lone start over the main track.
“I think she’s one that can run on any surface, it’s a matter of her getting the break,” owner Robert Klein said. “You just have to ask her out of the gate and let her settle into the race.”
A last out redeeming victory for Goin’ Good pleased Klein, who said he had some productive dialogue with jockey Tyler Gaffalione following the race.
“It was good to get her back to the winner’s circle in the next race. After that race, I asked Tyler if she belongs with the horses at Saratoga and Tyler said ‘absolutely,’” Klein said. “The trip in the Mamzelle was as rough one, it was unfortunate because when you’re in a five furlong race, you need a good enough trip. She had to check down the backstretch and made an inside move, but that day the inside of the turf course wasn’t the ideal place. She was spinning her wheels.”
Klein and Cox teamed up to capture the 2019 Coronation Cup with homebred Break Even.
“Hopefully we bring the right horse over again,” Klein said.
A Kentucky homebred, Goin’ Good is out of the multiple stakes winning Broken Vow mare Good Deed, who is a half-sister to prominent Klein Racing color bearers Cash Control, and multiple graded stakes winners Country Day and Due Date.
Gaffalione returns to the irons from post 4.
Trainer Wesley Ward will saddle two entrants in stakes-winners Illegal Smile and Wink.
Owned by Hat Creek Racing, Illegal Smile vies for her first triumph since taking the Stewart Manor on November 7 at Aqueduct.
The Irish-bred daughter of Camacho returned off six month’s rest when a close fourth in the Mamzelle before finishing second to Goin’ Good in a June 11 allowance.
“She’s been training really well,” Ward said. “She’s a no issue type of horse. Never had any issues in her career.”
Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez will pilot Illegal Smile from post 10.
Stonestreet Stables’ Wink will seek her third stakes triumph having conquered the Colleen last August at Monmouth Park and the Melody of Colors on March 20 at Gulfstream Park two starts back. The daughter of Midshipman was a distant ninth after setting the pace in the last out Mamzelle.
Leaving from post 8, Hall of Famer Javier Castellano will ride Wink.
Bach Stables’ Bye Bye cuts back in distance for trainer Christophe Clement after finishing seventh as the pacesetter in the one-mile Wild Applause on June 25 at Belmont Park.
After a lackluster debut on dirt in February, the bay daughter of Into Mischief handled her first start on grass with aplomb with a 2 ¾-length maiden triumph travelling five furlongs at Gulfstream Park. She managed her first stakes start with similar vigor with a narrow triumph over Invincible Gal in the Grade 3 Soaring Softly on May 15 at Belmont Park.
Bye Bye will leave from post 5, piloted by jockey Joel Rosario.
Clement also saddles Jim Bakke and Gerald Ibister’s Honey Pants following a triumph against winners over Belmont’s inner turf. The gray or roan daughter of Cairo Prince earned black type over the winter when second in the Stewart Manor followed by a runner-up in the Ginger Brew on January 2 at Gulfstream Park.
Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. will ride Honey Pants from post 3.
Lawrence Goichman’s Star Devine will see a major cutback in distance following a third against winners going 1 1/16 miles at Belmont Park for trainer Jorge Abreu.
The Irish-bred daughter of Fastnet Rock won her April 8 debut over the outer turf at Aqueduct before a close fourth in the Grade 3 Soaring Softly.
Jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. will ride from post 1.
Completing the field are Mischiefful [post 2, Jose Lezcano], What a Trick [post 7, Luis Saez] and Farsighted [post 9, Jose Ortiz]. Shop Girl [post 6] was entered for main track only.
The Coronation Cup is carded as Race 9 on Sunday’s 10-race program. First post is 1:05 p.m. Saratoga Live will present daily television coverage of the 40-day summer meet on FOX Sports. For the complete Saratoga Live broadcast schedule, and additional programming information, visit https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/racing/tv-schedule.
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Photo: Goin’ Good won an allowance at Churchill Downs on June 12, 2021 (Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)