Pegasus World Cup a target for Diversify after Whitney success
Report: Saratoga, Saturday
Whitney Stakes (Grade 1) | 1m1f | 3yo+ | dirt
New York-breds finished first and second in the Whitney – a Breeders' Cup Challenge 'Win and You're In' event for the Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs – with favourite Diversify (Rick Violette/Irad Ortiz) making all from fellow Grade 1 winner Mind Your Biscuits on a rapid chase for home.
"We planned on being very aggressive, period, and see what would happen," Violette said. "If it were to be a mistake, so be it. Irad really threw down the gauntlet at the half-mile pole. [Diversify] didn't quite drag him down there, but [Irad] said, 'Let's go', and dared anybody to catch up."
Mind Your Biscuits, stretching out to two turns for the first time, made a brave run off the final turn. Trainer Chad Summers said: "I thought Diversify might get just a little bit tired, but he just kept going. We just let him get a little bit too loose. We were too far back, and he had too much left."
Summers said he will still consider the 1m2f Breeders' Cup Classic for Mind Your Biscuits, who has never run at Churchill Downs.
It is not certain that Diversify will do the same. Joint-owner Ralph Evans suggested that he might bypass the race in favour of a tilt at the Pegasus World Cup or Dubai World Cup.
Also at Saratoga
Longines Test Stakes (Grade 1) | 7f | 3yo fillies | dirt
Separationofpowers (Chad Brown/Jose Ortiz) put in a determined rally to catch Mia Mischief in the $500,000 Longines Test Stakes.
Down the straight Mia Mischief dug in with tenacity as Separationofpowers tried to pass her on the outside. The two hooked up in a thriller with a furlong to run, but in the final strides it was Separationofpowers who edged by her game rival to win by a neck.
"I feel so fortunate she came out on top," Brown said. "She showed her heart and determination. I'm just so proud of my filly, how she showed so much heart to come out on top. I thought Jose rode such an outstanding race, from start to finish. They're a good combination, those two."
It was a first win for Separationofpowers since the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes in October. After finishing fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, she emerged with a chip and was rested until a July 8 return. This was her second start of the season.
"I tried to keep her clean, have a clean trip in the turn," Ortiz said. "I went a little bit wider than I wanted to, but I didn't get in trouble. I just rode her like the best horse, and I'm glad it worked out."
Trainer Steve Asmussen said he was proud of Mia Mischief's effort in her first Grade 1 start. "She ran a really good race," he said. "She got beat by a Grade 1 winner, and obviously we'd like the outcome to be about a neck different, but we're very proud of the filly and we're honoured to have her."
After Mia Mischief, it was 3½ lengths back to Kelly's Humor, who completed the trifecta.
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