Bridgmohan takes $27-million Lady Jacqueline in tight finish
CLEVELAND, Ohio (CMC):
Mylady Curlin just managed to hold off a fast-finishing Gotham Gala to hand Jamaican jockey Shaun Bridgmohan victory in Saturday’s US$200,000 (J$27-million) Lady Jacqueline Stakes at the Thistledown racetrack.
Bridgmohan sent the 7-5 choice to the front coming off the final turn only for Gotham Gala, one of two earlier pacesetters, to resurrect her challenge and narrowly miss out by a nose at the wire.
In the trip over a mile and eighth, there was no sign of the drama that eventually unfolded when hot favourite Escape Clause and Gotham Gala pulled the field through splits of 23.60 seconds for the quarter and 48 flat for the half-mile.
Mylady Curlin stalked from third on the outside, with 27-1 longshot Stormologist lying fourth and Flirty chasing from fifth.
At the quarter pole, Bridgmohan ranged Mylady Curlin up on the outside to snatch the lead heading into the stretch and seemed to have the field collared when he pulled a length clear.
OUT OF TIME
However, Gotham Gala, with Daniel Centeno aboard, rebounded spectacularly on the outside and looked to be overtaking Mylady Curlin when they ran out of time.
“I almost messed it up. The two horses to beat were in front of me, and I got to them a little quicker than I thought I would,” said Bridgmohan.
“I thought they’d go on a little farther, but when I pulled the trigger, all of a sudden, I was heads up with them on the turn. I knew someone was coming, but I didn’t know it was [Gotham Gala] – I thought when I went by her around the turn, she was done.
“When I heard someone coming, I just put my head down and rode to the wire.”
Mylady Curlin was timed at one minute, 51.40 seconds for her fifth straight win at five different tracks in five different states.