Gamine Rolls To Daylight Victory In Test; 1:20.83 For Seven Panels Equals Stakes Record

Showing the same brilliance she demonstrated last out in the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes that she won by 18 3/4 lengths, Michael Lund Petersen’s Gamine romped to another daylight victory under John Velazquez in Saturday’s Grade 1 Test Stakes at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

The 3-year-old daughter of Into Mischief fought off Grade 2 winner Venetian Harbor through fractions of :22.70, :45.14 and 1:08.61 en route to a final clocking of 1:20.83 for seven furlongs on a fast track, equaling Lady Tak’s stakes record in 2003 and falling two-fifths of a second short of the 1:20.40 Saratoga track record set in 1978 by Darby Creek Road.

Venetian Harbor held second, beaten seven lengths, with stakes winner Up in Smoke third, Grade 1 winner Spinaway winner Perfect Alibi fourth and Mrs. Danvers last in the field of five 3-year-olds fillies.

Venetian Harbor was the 1-5 favorite off her victory in the Acorn.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Gamine was picked out of the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale of 2-year-olds in training by bloodstock agent Donato Lanni on behalf of Petersen, a Baltimore-area resident. She won her debut at Santa Anita by 6 1/4 lengths on March 7, then was first across the wire by a neck in an Oaklawn allowance race May 2. She was subsequently disqualified from that win after a post-race test detected lidocaine, a disqualification that has been appealed to the Arkansas Racing Commission.

Baffert then shipped Gamine to New York twice from his southern California stable where she rolled to her two Grade 1 victories.

Gamine, out of the Kafwain mare, Peggy Jane, was bred in Kentucky by Grace Thoroughbred Holdings.

“Obviously, she’s very good,” said Velazquez. “You love to be on these kinds of horses. I have to thank Bob and the owners for the opportunity. Bob said she breaks well and to kind of let her do her thing. If another horse wants to go too fast, we just let her sit second and she’ll be fine sitting second. But she broke so good and the other horse [Venetian Harbor, No. 6] kind of stayed right next to me and didn’t press the pace very much, so I just kind of let her do what she wanted to do the first quarter-mile. Once we got to the turn, I let her get into the turn and she got really comfortable and really smooth and got away from the other horse and kept going. Very nice.

“I just let her do whatever she wants to do. The last time [an 18 ¾-length win in the G1 Acorn on June 20 at Belmont Park], I was a little too much in her mouth and she was kind of leaning out a little bit so today I just left the reins loose and let her be where she wanted to be and she was pleased where she was. Then on the turn, I took a hold of her and she went right back in so I didn’t worry about it.

“It feels as good as the last time, I’ll tell you that. Whatever the time was or how much she won by, it doesn’t matter. She’s still as good, and that’s what counts.”

 “She’s rising straight to the top,” said Jimmy Barnes, assistant to Baffert who traveled with the filly to Saratoga. “For what she’s accomplished so far for such a lightly raced filly, we look forward to stretching her out and see what comes of that.”


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