Keeneland hosts Heroes Day Presented by Rubicon
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Highlander Training Center’s Summer in Saratoga held off a late bid from favored Luck Money by a half-length to win the 30th running of the $150,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager (G3) for fillies and mares Sunday afternoon.
Trained by Joe Sharp and ridden by Corey Lanerie, Summer in Saratoga covered 1½ miles on a turf course rated as good in 2:30.02. It is the first victory in the Rood & Riddle Dowager for Sharp and Lanerie.
Summer in Saratoga got a ground-saving trip while racing seventh in the field of 10 as the trio of Eesha My Flower, Key Biscayne and Kelsey’s Cross led the field through fractions of :23.80, :48.93, 1:14.77 and 1:40.08.
On the far turn, Lanerie eased Summer in Saratoga off the rail, moved three wide into the stretch where he split horses at the three-sixteenths pole and drew off with enough left in the tank to hold off Luck Money.
Sharp was asked what made him think she would handle the 1½-mile distance of the race. “Just her running style and just her being; she’s very easy to turn on and off. That’s what it takes in these distance races: being able to settle and have that turn of foot,” Sharp explained.
“She’s been a filly that’s been really good to us. She’s the definition of a team effort. (Owner) Highlander Training Center did a great job with her over the winter. (Bloodstock agent) Clark Shepherd picked her out. (Owner) Larry Hirsch has had a lot of patience with this filly, and it’s paid off. That was her final start for us. We’re definitely going to miss her. She’s been a special filly to us.”
In winning her first graded stakes and third stakes overall, Summer in Saratoga added $90,000 to her bankroll to increase her career earnings to $429,572.
Corey Lanerie was asked whether he knew he had that much horse underneath him at the three-eighths pole, when announcer Kurt Becker saw him grin. “I did,” said Lanerie. “She was traveling really well throughout the whole race. I asked her for a little bit to check on her and see what I had, and I could tell I had a lot left, so at that point I was just looking for a path and trying to set my way where I could get on through.”
A Keeneland sales graduate, Summer in Saratoga is a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Hard Spun out of the Arch mare Love Theway Youare.
Summer in Saratoga returned $12.80, $5.20 and $4.20. Luck Money, ridden by Joel Rosario, returned $3.40 and $2.80 and finished 2 lengths ahead of Micheline, who paid $5.20 to show under Florent Geroux.
“I thought we were going to be a little closer. We had to wait a little bit on the backside, but she went on. The other horse (Summer in Saratoga) got the jump on us, but she tried really hard at the end. I thought maybe we would get there (to the lead), but the horse in front had a better trip than I did. She ran very good for second,” commented Rosario.
Kelsey’s Cross finished another 1¼ lengths back in fourth and was followed in order by English Affair, La Lune (GB), Viburnum, Key Biscayne, Eesha My Flower and I Hear You.
Comments from third place finisher Micheline’s connections:
“I was in the clear and I was right there with the winner, but the winner had a better kick at the end,” said rider Florent Geroux.
Jimmy Bell, President and Racing Manager of Godolphin, owner of Micheline, remarked on her planned retirement after this race. “She has been a lot of fun and a treat for everybody. We will let her settle in and then decide on breeding plans. She will go to our farm (Darley) from here. It is always fun to watch horses progress, and she has been an all-star.”
Click here for a replay of the race and the post-race interview with winning connections.
November Breeding Stock Sale Update
A weanling half-brother to Summer in Saratoga has been cataloged to Keeneland’s November Breeding Stock Sale, to be held Nov. 10-19. Consigned by Denali Stud, agent, the son of Omaha Beach is Hip 935.
Keeneland hosts Heroes Day Presented by Rubicon
Today was Heroes Day Presented by Rubicon, which honored members of the military (active duty and veterans) and first responders (law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs and health care workers) and their families with free general admission and access to reserved Grandstand seats. Guests enjoyed free lunch from City BBQ and children’s activities in the Family Zone in the North Terrace.
The afternoon included a number of recognitions in the Winner’s Circle and around the track.
Click here for an unfurling of the American flag by the Henry Clay High School Junior ROTC. Dr. Everett McCorvey of the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre led the crowd in the singing of “America the Beautiful.”
Please note in the foreground of the above photo: As part of Heroes Day Presented by Rubicon, Keeneland remembered those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country. Keeneland placed wreaths on four reserved benches on the trackside apron in memoriam of the 13 service members killed in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 26.
Also, the POW-MIA Chair of Honor near the Paddock represented the program that brings awareness to past and current POW-MIA military members through a partnership with The Rolling Thunder Kentucky Chapter 5.
Keeneland’s Fall Meet
The final four days of Keeneland’s 17-day Fall Meet begin Wednesday when racing resumes with an eight-race program beginning at 1 p.m. ET.
The Super High 5 carryover is $20,051.22.
For info on the Best Breeders’ Cup Seminar click HERE.
Keeneland Press Release
Photo: Summer in Saratoga with Corey Lanerie up wins the 2021 Rood and Riddle Dowager for trainer Joe Sharp and owner Larry Hirsch. (Keeneland Photo)