VIRGINIANS CAPTURE LAKE PLACID STAKES GR.2 AT SARATOGA

carolinethomas

CAROLINE THOMAS (outside) (NYRA Photo)

Like many Virginians, Bonner Young breeds her horses in Kentucky and like most breeders and owners, Saratoga has long been an important place for her horses to win.

Yesterday Caroline Thomas picked up the first stakes win of her career when moved up in the $200,000 Woodford Reserve Lake Placid Stakes Gr. 2 due to the disqualification of original winner Nellie Cashman on Saratoga’s inner turf.

Virginia Oaks Gr. 3 winner (19-1), ridden by Forest Boyce at odds of 20-1, was disqualified for drifting into the path of the rallying Watsdachances  in deep stretch. First under the line by a nose over Caroline Thomas, she was demoted to third, with Watsdachances placed second.

Javier Castellano, the rider of Watsdachances, lodged the objection against Nellie Cashman after his mount finished a neck behind the first two.

Caroline Thomas, is the first foal out of grade I winner Bit of Whimsy, who captured the the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT), the Mrs. Revere Stakes (gr. IITT), and Sands Point Stakes (gr. IIIT) in 2007. Bred in Kentucky by Young and raced by Joyce B. Young, Caroline Thomas posted her first win from six starts this year at odds of 11-1. Rosie Napravnik was the winning rider for trainer Barclay Tagg.

Caroline Thomas and Watsdachances were coming with a rush approaching the wire as Nellie Cashman drifted out despite right-handed urging from Boyce.

“Sure, it’s disappointing,” Franny Abbott, the trainer of Nellie Cashman, said. “I try not to come up to New York very often unless I think I’m pretty live. It’s nice to know the Virginia Oaks wasn’t a fluke. She’s got a lot of ability. Hopefully, she’ll come back.”

“Even though we were lucky to be put up for the win, I thought my filly really ran a winning race, anyway. She worked so excellent over the grass the other day,” Napravnik said in reference to a :46 4/5 move Aug. 15. “I had a lot of confidence in her and she ran excellent.”

The winner was coming off a seventh-place finish in the restricted My Princess Jess Stakes over the Saratoga inner lawn July 20, a race in which she was bumped while rallying at the eighth pole. Prior to that she was third, beaten a head, in a stakes named for her dam at Belmont June 16. Her last victory came in an allowance/optional claiming race on the Gulfstream Park turf Dec. 16.

Bit of Whimsy has produced a yearling Bernardini filly and was bred to Giant’s Causeway again for 2014.

Caroline Thomas improved her career mark to 3-1-2 in nine starts with earnings of $230,734.

Bonner Young has also owned and bred several graded stakes winners in partnership with her brother fellow Virginian George Rowand (Diary of a Dream: My Journey in Thoroughbred Racing).  Among them were Miss Josh (Gr.1), Highland Springs (Gr.2) and Royal Mountain Inn (Gr.1), all trained by Tagg.  Young also campaigned the filly’s Grade 1 winning dam, Bit of Whimsy.

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