Mutamakina takes second straight edition of Long Island

November 28, 2021

OZONE PARK, N.Y. — Part of a three-pronged entry from the barn of trainer Christophe Clement, race favorite Mutamakina was able to reel in longshot leader Candy Flower in the waning strides of the Grade 3, $400,000 Long Island on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack to give her back-to-back victories in the turf marathon.

Run at 1 ½ miles for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up, the Long Island gave the formerly French-based Mutamakina her first victory on U.S. soil in 2020, and the daughter of Nathaniel parlayed that into a strong 5-year-old campaign in 2021, which saw her win the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor last out at Woodbine over her stablemate La Dragontea, who also followed her to the Long Island.

Clement’s triumvirate on Saturday was completed by the returning Sorrel, who last ran on March 27 at Gulfstream Park in the Grade 3 Orchid behind Grade 1 winner War Like Goddess.

Given the result of the E.P. Taylor, which Mutamakina took by a neck over La Dragontea on October 17, the former was sent off as the 2-1 favorite over her barn mate at 5-2, but early on it appeared that her popularity might be unfounded as she found herself well off the pace beneath Dylan Davis, an atypical spot for her given her frontrunning style.

Instead, it was Candy Flower who took up the mantle on the lead, rattling off sensible fractions of 24.20 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 50.02 for the half, and 1:15 for three-quarters while Sorrel stayed in close attendance in second.

Positions remained unchanged for much of the running, and after barreling around the last of three turns, Candy Flower opened up a decisive advantage under Kendrick Carmouche. By mid-stretch the pair looked destined to cruise home to victory, but Mutamakina and Davis emerged from the pack and came charging after the loose leader, needing nearly every inch of the elongated Big A stretch to run down the pacesetter to prevail by a half-length.

“She ran a phenomenal race,” said Davis. “A touch quick for her, but she was able to settle in and I was happy with where I was at saving all the ground.

“I thought it was going to move along a little bit more in front of me,” the jockey added. “It was a little tight there at the corner, but I was able to get her a clear spot and comfortable. Once I got into her, I knew it might have been a touch close but I knew she was going to get there. She was really determined.”

Owned by Al Shiraaa Farms and bred by Widgham Stud in Great Britain, Mutamakina returned $6.60 on a $2 win wager and completed the distance in 2:28.08. Her career earnings are also within shouting distance of the one million dollar mark, now standing at $854,066.

“Dylan has been training her every week and has done a great job,” said Clement. “She’s an important horse for him since she gave him his first Grade 1 win in the E.P. Taylor. She’s important for us. When they win at this level, they’re all important.

“She had a really good year,” Clement added. “The E.P. Taylor and the Long Island are both important races. I know it’s a Grade 3, but it should be a Grade 2. This will be her last race and she’ll go back to Ireland and become a broodmare. She’s a very exciting broodmare prospect.”

A 4-year-old daughter of Twirling Candy, Candy Flower continues to overachieve this year for trainer Mike Maker, who initially claimed her for just $35,000 on January 20 at Gulfstream Park.

After winning an allowance race for Maker in late spring at Belmont Park, the trainer lost her via the claim box on August 12 at Saratoga Race Course only to take her right back for $40,000 at the end of September at Belmont. In the first start of her second stint with Maker, the bay filly nearly wired the $150,000 Zagora at Belmont, missing by just a length at 25-1. She nearly lit up the tote board again in the Long Island at odds of 22-1, but had to settle for a valiant second-place finish, 2 ¼ lengths ahead of La Dragontea in third.

Luck Money finished fourth, 1 ¼ lengths behind La Dragontea, and was followed home by Sorrel, Harajuku, and Orglandes.

Live racing resumes Sunday at the Big A with a 10-race card featuring the $150,000 Autumn Days in Race 7, the Grade 3, $200,000 Fall Highweight in Race 8 and the $100,000 Tepin in Race 9. First post is 11:50 a.m. Eastern.

America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the fall meet at Aqueduct Racetrack on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/tv-schedule.

NYRA Press Release

Photo: Mutamakina (CD Photo)

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