It was a familiar scene.
A 2-year-old filly carrying the gold silks with the big burgundy “V” on the front rolled home to win the Grade II Adirondack Stakes at Saratoga Race Course on Sunday.
For the third time in four years, Stonestreet Stables won the Adirondack, this time with Cavorting, who outbattled Angela Renee in the final sixteenth of a mile to win by a length and three-quarters.
Stonestreet owner Barbara Banke, wife of the late Jess Jackson, has sent about a half-dozen horses to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, and he has a special affinity for
Cavorting, since she’s a daughter of Bernardini. Bernardini also sired the McLaughlin-trained Alpha, who won the Jim Dandy, Travers and Woodward at Saratoga.
“This is one of the first ones that we’ve had [from Stonestreet],” McLaughlin said. “I love Bernardinis, and obviously, Alpha is one of our most successful horses, so it’s nice to see Bernardinis off to a great start this year because he’s one of the best stallions in the world. And she’ll [Cavorting] go further.”
Stonestreet won the Adirondack in 2011 with My Miss Aurelia and in 2012 with Kauai Katie.
Cavorting stamped herself as a graded stakes-caliber juvenile filly on July 3 at Belmont Park, where she won by 11 lengths first time out.
She made herself a graded-stakes winner by maneuvering inside a bit under Irad Ortiz Jr. at the half-mile pole, then finding clear sailing in the stretch and finishing well against the game Angela Renee.
“At the half-mile pole, I had to cut the corner,” Ortiz said. “I didn’t want to go too wide. I got in a little bit and asked her a little bit, and I had horse.”
Jockey John Velazquez, on Angela Renee, said the full sister to Woodward winner To Honor and Serve might be well served to use blinkers next time, since she lost some focus in the stretch when the real running started.
“I didn’t want to be stuck in there and get all the dirt,” Velazquez said. “I got a nice spot on the outside, and she was going pretty good.
“When the other horses got to her, she just shied away from them. Instead of looking forward, she was watching the other horses.”
Angela Renee, also a daughter of Bernardini, went off the 9-5 betting favorite, and third-place finisher Wonder Gal, a winner by 14 1⁄2 lengths in her debut, was the second choice at almost 5-2.
McLaughlin said the Spinaway on closing weekend would be a little quick to race back for Cavorting.
She’ll likely wait for the Frizette on Oct. 4 at Belmont.
“We had a lot of confidence because she’s trained very well,” he said. “She’s a special filly. She ran 11 weeks after we got her and won by 11.
Usually, our horses improve their second start.”
“She won first time out by 11 lengths, easy,” Ortiz said. “We saw better fillies today, and she can do it. She has some talent, and he does a great job with them.”