Fancy Liquor Re-Rallies In The Stretch To Win Caesars Stakes

Fancy Liquor added a little unexpected nightcap to the finish of the 15th running of the $150,000 Caesars Stakes Wednesday, Aug. 12. The three-year-old son of Lookin at Lucky appeared to be defeated halfway through the stretch but dug in gamely and passed his opponent back up for the win during Indiana Grand’s richest day of turf racing.

An inside post assisted jockey DeShawn Parker in getting out of the gate well and pointed to the top spot with Fancy Liquor, who has shown early speed in all his four previous starts, three of which have been over the turf. Once he secured the top spot, Fancy Liquor was well in hand to establish the tempo of the race. Juggernaut and Jermaine Bridgmohan sat patiently to the outside of Billy Batts and Santo Sanjur just off Fancy Liquor during the early stages.

“I was really surprised we got the lead as easily as we did,” said Parker, winner of more than 5,700 career races and Indiana Grand’s current leading rider. “There was a lot of speed and I figured we would be battling head to head, but they let me go, so I took advantage of it.”

As the field began to pick up the pace in the final turn of the one-mile event, Fancy Liquor was holding strong and was not going to be overtaken easily. Juggernaut moved up to challenge at the top of the lane and the two ensued in a battle down the stretch that placed Juggernaut with a half-length lead at one point. But nearing the wire, Fancy Liquor dug deep and came back along the inside to score the victory by a neck over Juggernaut in 1:39.62. Kineos and Alex Achard rallied up late for third.

“He was sitting so easy, and never took off running until that horse (Juggernaut) went by him,” said Parker. “It scared me for a moment. He had been running so easy I thought I had a lot of horse left. Then, when he kicked in, he took off running.”

The favorite of the field, Fancy Liquor paid $6.60, $4.00, $3.40 across the board. It was the second career win for the Kentucky bred owned by Skychai Racing LLC and Sand Dollar Stable LLC. Mike Maker is trainer of the colt who more than doubled his career earnings to $161,000. John Lind, assistant to Maker, saddled the colt that has not finished worse than third in five career starts.

Most of the ownership was trackside to watch Fancy Liquor run, including Eric Craig and Tom Ferreri, both lawyers from the Louisville, Ky. area and Jim Shircliff, also of Louisville. They noted that Dave Koenig of Sand Dollar Stable based in Cincinnati wasn’t able to attend.

“We have to give Harvey Diamond all the credit,” said Craig. “He is the leader of Skychai (Racing) and he puts most of these partnerships together. Going to the track with each other is a lot of fun and a big dividend. It’s the first time for me and Tom (Ferreri) at Indiana Grand, and the hospitality here has been fantastic.”

In addition to enjoying each other’s company at the track, Skychai Racing also have fun naming their horses. Fancy Liquor is a tribute to the dam, Brandys Secret, who won 21 of 43 starts in her career. She also has a two-year-old coming up with a name that reflects an association with liquor in French, Miss Eau de Vie, also trained by Maker.

“Brandys Secret was a great racehorse for us,” added Ferreri. “She won at all distances and on all three surfaces. She’s been a great broodmare for us, too.”

With such variety in her success, Skychai Racing had numerous options for Fancy Liquor when he got to the races. They quickly learned he liked the turf and credit Maker for that decision.

“That’s all Mike (Maker),” said Shircliff. “He’s a phenomenal trainer and sensed what was right for this horse. He does such a good job, especially with turf horses. I’m not sure where he (Fancy Liquor) is headed next but possibly Saratoga. That will be up to Mike. When he tells us, we listen.”

Skychai Racing has been faring well in recent weeks outside of the Midwest. Their four-year-old, Somelikeithotbrown, named in reference to dam Marilyn Monroan, was a winner at Saratoga in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap in late July. In all, the stable has earnings in excess of $1 million in purses.

Live racing is held Monday through Thursday beginning at 2:20 p.m. Three more Saturday programs are slated for all-Quarter Horse days Aug. 8, Oct. 3 and Oct. 24. The Aug. 8 program will begin at 10 a.m.

The post Fancy Liquor Re-Rallies In The Stretch To Win Caesars Stakes appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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