SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Ten Strike Racing and Four Corners Racing Stable’s Sea Foam made every pole a winning one to provide trainer Michelle Giangiulio her first career win in Wednesday’s $100,000 Evan Shipman Handicap, a nine-furlong test for New York-breds 3-years-old and up at Saratoga Race Course.
Claimed for $45,000 out of a winning effort in a nine-furlong state-bred optional-claiming route on July 30 at Saratoga, Sea Foam provided Giangiulio her first win in just her sixth career start.
“My mind is blown right now,” Giangiulio said. “It’s just epic. My first starter was in [February]. I actually got my trainer’s license right at the end of 2020. This is only my sixth start; I have five horses. I’ve had one win, three seconds and two thirds, so they’ve been running really, really good.”
Sea Foam broke sharply from post 3 under Joel Rosario and led the five-horse field into the first turn with 3-2 mutuel favorite Mr. Buff pinned to the rail by Three Jokers as the opening quarter mile elapsed in 24.10 seconds on the fast main track.
Sea Foam dictated terms down the backstretch through a half-mile in 48.10 and three-quarters in 1:12.27 as Three Jokers continued to press with Mr. Buff unable to stretch his significant frame.
Danny California, an optional-claiming winner on Saturday at the Spa, advanced outside rivals through the final turn, but Sea Foam opened up a two-length lead at the stretch call and drew off to a five-length score in a final time of 1:50.91.
Three Jokers completed the exacta by three lengths over Danny California. Rounding out the order of finish were Winston’s Chance and Mr. Buff.
Giangiulio said the classy Sea Foam exited his recent win in good order.
“He came out of his last race really well and this race came up a light field. We said we might as well take a shot,” Giangiulio said. “I figured we’d have a huge chance and we might as well run him if he’s good, and it worked out.
“I just told Joel to break and go,” she added. “The horse runs best on the lead and that’s how he wins. He gave him a perfect trip.”
Giangiulio said she was impressed with the way Sea Foam extended his advantage out of the final turn.
“I didn’t think he was going to open up like that,” Giangiulio said. “With Three Jokers coming up to him a little, I guess he just needed to see another horse to kick back in, and he did. It was awesome.”
A 6-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro, out of the graded-stakes winning Unbridled’s Song mare Strike It Rich, Sea Foam captured the 2017 Notebook at Aqueduct and a year later won the New York Derby at Finger Lakes and the Albany at Saratoga.
Rosario said Sea Foam was traveling comfortably throughout.
“He took the lead, and he likes to do that. He was going nice and easy and past the three-eighths [pole], he kind of got away a little bit and he ran big again,” Rosario said. “He showed that he improves when he goes to the lead. He’s a really nice horse and he tries hard all the time.”
A former assistant to trainers such as Joe Sharp and Tom Morley, Giangiulio boasts a perfect in-the-money record though six starts, sporting a ledger of 6-1-3-2, dating to a third-place finish by Parade Field in February at Aqueduct.
Subsequent starters for Giangiulio include Easy Shot [2nd, June 17 at Belmont Park], True Castle [2nd, July 4, Belmont], Wagon Boss [3rd, July 15, Saratoga], and Joey Loose Lips [2nd, August 5, Saratoga].
Bred in the Empire State by Waterville Lake Stables, Sea Foam banked $55,000 in victory while improving his record to 23-9-3-2. He paid $12 for a $2 win ticket.
Evan Shipman Handicap Replay
Sea Foam – 2021 – The Evan Shipman
Live racing resumes Thursday with a 10-race card highlighted by the 17th running of the $100,000 Saratoga Dew. First post is 1:05 p.m. Eastern.
By Keith McCalmont
Photo” Sea Foam (Chelsea Durand)