Gitchee Goomie suddenly found herself all alone on the lead in the deep stretch.
At least, that’s what she thought, as there was no horse in sight — sight limited by the blinkers trainer Rick Violette added for the Yaddo at Saratoga Race Course on Friday.
Luckily, jockey Alan Garcia knew Rogue’s Jewel was riding right with him and the favored Gitchee Goomie, and he urged her to keep kicking to the wire. Violette said it makes him wonder a little about the blinkers.
“She just gives you a heart attack, that’s all. The day I put blinkers on her, they go a half in 50, so she really kind of gave Alan fits,” Violette said. “She was on the bridle, kind of far too long. She gets a lead, and boy, she likes to pull up. I’m really between a rock and a hard place with the blinkers, because as soon as she put her head in front, she was content to say, ‘OK, my job is done,’ and we had a little ways left to go.
“Anyway, we got it done and she’s a sweetheart of a filly, as much as she gives you angina.”
The Yaddo was the feature on Fabulous Fillies Day, a card filled only with races for females.
Gitchee Goomie sat off the modest pace set by Mystic City, going a quarter-mile in 25.05 seconds and a half-mile in 50.65. Mystic City kept the lead until the final turn, where she faded as the finishers kicked in.
Gitchee Goomie was a head behind Rogue’s Jewel at the top of the stretch and forged ahead for her nose victory at the wire. Frivolous Buck, owned by Schenectady physician Gerardus Jameson, got up for third.
With the slow pace, Garcia was biding his time for a run.
“She has issues breaking out of the gate and putting herself in a bad spot,” he said. “So today, with blinkers, she was right there in the game, but the pace was a little slow, anyway. So I was waiting, trying to save some ground, and when we turned for home, I let my filly run.”
Violette said he may next let her run in tougher company.
“She deserves to win a graded race, a Grade III or II,” he said. “We’ll keep our eyes open for that. She’s so consistent that it would . . . you hate to give away some of the easier spots . . . but she got beat in a photo at Belmont earlier in the year [a neck in the Grade III Beaugay on May 7], but a graded race would help her pedigree a whole lot.”
Aboard Love and Pride, John Velazquez showed the field the fast way around the track in the ungraded Proud Spell from the break to the final jump, at which point he was ahead by 63⁄4 lengths.
It was the second of four straight wins for Velazquez to start the card.
He kept Love and Pride in hand while setting the pace, covering the first three-quarters of a mile with a 21⁄2-length lead on Draw It before drawing off to the easy win.
Draw It briefly dropped back into fifth at the top of the stretch, but found enough kick to get back up into second, a length ahead of My Assets.
Favored All for Thee finished fifth in the six-horse field, 91⁄2 lengths behind the winner.
Velazquez won the opener aboard St Pancras, who like Love and Pride, is trained by Todd Pletcher. Velazquez won the third race aboard Bwana Babe for trainer Rudy Rodriguez and the fourth aboard Moshe Diane for David Donk.
BROWN EYES MOHAWK
The day after giving trainer Bruce Brown the biggest win of his career Thursday in the West Point, Compliance Officer was in his stall watching horses pass on the Oklahoma turf course.
“He came out of it very good,” Brown told the New York Racing Association. “Cooled out well, ate everything last night and looks good today. He’s got his window, and they’re breezing on the grass. Whenever he sees them breezing on the grass out there, he gets wound up.”
Brown said he is considering entering the 5-year-old gelding in the $125,000 Mohawk at Belmont Park on New York Showcase Day, Oct. 22.
AROUND THE TRACK
In preparation for the Grade II Bernard
Baruch next Friday, Get Stormy breezed six furlongs on the Oklahoma Training Track’s turf course in 1:133⁄5 with a 1:26 gallop out for trainer Tom Bush.
For the first time in three tries, Get Stormy’s workout was uninterrupted by loose horses. He did, however, surprise rider Ramon Dominguez by wheeling around and unseating him. Dominguez kept hold of the reins and pulled himself back into the saddle. . . .
Also for Bush, Banrock headed to Lambertville, N.J. and the Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center with possible liver trouble. He was scratched from Thursday’s West Point. . . .
Rattlesnake Bridge had his workout moved up a day in prep for the $1 million Travers on Aug. 27. With rain possible later in the day, he worked five furlongs in 1:00.68 with stablemate Fact. . . .
A possible entrant for the Travers, Arthur’s Tale breezed five furlongs for trainer Tom Albertrani in 1:01.63. The colt finished second to Toby’s Corner in the Wood.
Saratoga jockeys will take the stage for competitive karaoke Monday at Vapor Night Club at Saratoga Casino and Raceway as part of the festivities for “Riders Up,” a benefit for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
Tickets cost $100 for the dinner-and-dancing event and covers a buffet, the jockey karaoke and more karaoke and dancing after the competition. The event will run from 6-11 p.m., and a cash bar will be available.
Advance tickets are available online at www.-pdjf.org or by phone at (630) 234-691. A limited number of tickets will be sold at the door, on a first-come, first-served basis.
Jockeys expected to compete include Velazquez, Dominguez, Javier Castellano, Rajiv Maragh. Kent Desormeaux, Alex Solis, Edgar Prado, David Cohen, Garcia, Jorge Chavez, Maylan Studart, Robby Albarado, Julien Leparoux and others, along with 2010 winner Dean Mernagh.