Cavorting Earns Breeders’ Cup Distaff Berth with Personal Ensign Victory
The Personal Ensign preview showed five fabulous fillies ready to run for an all-fees paid spot in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff November 4-5 at Santa Anita. And on a super Saturday of racing at Saratoga, Cavorting showed her love for the track with another win in the $750,000 Grade I Personal Ensign Stakes. She’s now 4-for-4 over the Saratoga surface.
A 4-year-old daughter of Bernardini trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Cavorting recorded a final time of 1:48.61 for nine furlongs over the fast main track at Saratoga.
“She broke out of the gate and rushed up to the lead,” jockey Javier Castellano said of Cavorting. “I didn’t expect her to be in front and I had to take her back a little bit, nice and easy, and covered up. My concern was that it was going to be two turns for her for the first time, and a mile and an eighth. I had to save some ground and save something for the end. If I got too far back, I wasn’t going to catch them because they were running pretty quick.”
I’m A Chatterbox continued to extend her lead, running freely down the backstretch to record a half-mile time of :48.77 with a 1 1/2-length lead over Curalina. Though Cavorting was in last, she was only five lengths off her lead. Approaching the far turn, the field began to bunch together toward the leader. Curalina was the first to challenge I’m A Chatterbox, and was quickly joined by Forever Unbridled. Those three made the top of the lane three-wide across the track, stride for stride together, with Castellano, holding Cavorting just outside Paid Up Subscriber, electing to wait to angle out around them until straightening out in the stretch.
Once he guided Cavorting to clear racing down the center of the track, the filly was very strong in her run to the wire as the top four came towards the wire together in a thrilling finish.
“The way the race developed was amazing,” Castellano continued. “I was able to cover up a little bit, and then turning for home, the way she did it was amazing. I had a lot of horse under me and I absolutely felt the power.”
The Personal Ensign win was worth $400,000 and Cavorting surpassed $2 million in career earnings with her eighth win in 13 starts. As the 2-1 second choice, Cavorting paid $6.90 to win, $3.40 to place and $2.50 to show. Race favorite Curalina finished second to pay $3.00 and Forever was third.
Cavorting, who captured last year’s GI Test Stakes., has won her last three starts: the Grade II Ruffian Stakes, Grade I Ogden Phipps Stakes and the Personal Ensign. Her next stop is the Breeders’ Cup Distaff.
“She’s a top filly. She’s definitely one of the best fillies I’ve ever trained, if not the best filly,” said McLaughlin. “To win graded stakes at 2, 3, and 4 is quite impressive.”