Highway Star Outfinishes Carina Mia In Gallant Bloom

Chester and Mary Broman’s homebred Highway Star got back to her winning ways on Sunday, running down the even-money favorite Carina Mia to win the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom Handicap. The 4-year-old daughter of Girolamo, second-choice at odds of 2-1, was never more than four lengths off the lead under jockey Luis Saez. Though Carina Mia took over that lead at the head of the stretch, Highway Star had her running shoes on and got up to defeat Carina Mia by a neck on the wire. Trained by Rodrigo Ubillo, Highway Star covered 6 1/2 furlongs over Belmont’s fast main track in 1:16.91.

“They told me to break and see how I was and go from there and see what happens,” relayed Saez. “I was a little worried because I had the one hole and I knew everyone was going to come down and we’d be stuck down [on the rail]. As soon as I got the opportunity, I came out and followed the filly for Javier [Castellano, aboard Carina Mia, No. 3]. When we came into the stretch, she took off.”

Highway Star won two graded stakes in a row before attempting G1 company in the Ogden Phipps, in which she finished third. The filly improved to run second in the G1 Ballerina, but the drop to G2 company this weekend proved to be just what she needed to get back to the winner’s circle.

Lucy N Ethel was quick out of the gate to take a half-length lead on the outside ahead of Quezon, while Highway Star and Carina Mia were head-and-head in third position. After a quarter in :22.59, Carina Mia advanced to join Quezon in second, and into the far turn she challenged the leading Lucy N Ethel.

Shuffled back to fifth, Highway Star had to wait behind rivals around the turn as her rivals clocked a half-mile in :45.94. Saez didn’t panic, despite watching Quezon take the easy trip up the rail to challenge Carina Mia.

Saez was in the two-path with Highway Star around the turn, and moved her to the center of the track when she straightened toward the wire. The filly caught sight of the leading Carina Mia, who had denied Quezon at the rail, and took dead aim at the favorite. Highway Star rallied on to pass Carina Mia in the closing yards, crossing the wire a neck in front. Quezon had to settle for third, while Absatootly finished fourth.

She broke good and then something happened on the backside so she fell back a little bit farther back than I wanted her to,” Ubillo explained. “Luis then took her to the outside and she made up a little ground. By the end of the race she came on again to finish strong. She trains here and I gallop her in the mornings and you can tell she really loves this track. Unfortunately, [regular rider] Angel [Arroyo] took a spill a couple of days ago and he wasn’t ready. Luis is his cousin and he talked to him about the filly so I felt pretty good.”

Bred in New York by her owners, Highway Star is a second-generation homebred out of the multiple stakes placed Cat Thief mare Stolen Star. The Gallant Bloom victory improves Highway Star’s record to 8-1-2 from 13 starts, with earnings of over $950,000.

The post Highway Star Outfinishes Carina Mia In Gallant Bloom appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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