The 2016 Ballerina Stakes was meant to be a bit of a shodown between Wavell Avenue and Carina Mia. The latter was a 5/1 second choice on the board along with Sheer Drama, but the latter was the even money favorite. To everyone’s surprise, neither was able to cross the line first in what ended up being an immensely entertaining race. Carina Mia was caught at the line by Haveyougonaway, a five-year old mare who is trending in all the right directions since syncing up with trainer Thomas Morley.
There wasn’t much happening in the first half-mile of the race, so Carina Mia simply tore off to try and create some distance and give herself an advantage. What ended up happening was that she dragged the other top rivals in the field around the final bend with her. By The Moon slipped past her on the inside, while Haveyougoneaway had just a bit more as she travelled the longer route on the outside.
Haveyougoneaway delivered $22.00, $8.30, and $4.80 across the board. By the Moon rewarded $10.80 and $6.30, and Carina Mia paid out $2.70 in third. It’s very hard to say that it was a massive disappointment for Carina Mia but it is certainly disheartening. Some better choices and you’d probably be reading about a different outcome at the 2016 Ballerina Stakes.
“Perfect trip,” said jockey John Velazquez who rod Haveyougoneaway. “She broke well and got in good position. I was just trying to follow Joel Rosario. Then, all of a sudden, he took off at the half-mile pole and I sat there and decided to wait. I didn’t want to make a premature move. When I asked at the quarter pole, she responded right away.”
The 2016 Ballerina Stakes winner is granted entry to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. Morley indicated that getting her to California was a priority but that his team needed to do so under the right conditions. Haveyougoneaway has run in six races this season, going 4-2-0. This particular triumph, however, was the first at the grade-I level for both Morley and the five-year old mare.