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Closing Remarks Nets Fourth Graded Score in Goldikova

Trainer Carla Gaines was unabashed in her decision to skip the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1T) with Closing Remarks  in favor of the Nov. 5 Goldikova Stakes (G2T).

“Basically the competition,” Gaines admitted after Closing Remarks stormed to victory in the Goldikova, netting the fourth graded win of her career in the $200,000 one-mile turf event for older fillies and mares at Santa Anita Park.

The Harris Farms-homebred had been enjoying her best season yet as a 5-year-old, posting wins in the Royal Heroine (G2T), Yellow Ribbon (G2T), and John C. Mabee (G2T) Stakes against the best turf mares in Southern California.

Dodging the European turf monsters in Inspiral  and Warm Heart the 1-2 finishers in the Filly & Mare Turf— Closing Remarks closed as the 5-1 fourth choice in a field of six for the Goldikova. Grade 1 winner Queen Goddess , unraced since May for trainer Michael McCarthy, closed the betting as the even-money favorite.

Queen Goddess nearly got it done. Stalking a torrid early pace of :22.67 and :45.38 set by Hamwood Flier , the Eclipse Thoroughbreds’ runner took over around the turn and held the advantage down the lane until a flying Closing Remarks and Juan Hernandez nailed in her the final strides.

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Closing Remarks, last at the three-eighths pole, exploded past Queen Goddess for a half-length score under the wire. The California-bred stopped the clock in 1:32.69 over a firm turf course. She returned $13.60 for a $2 win ticket.

“This mare she tries all the time, she’s a really nice, honest mare,” Hernandez said. “She knows what she is doing on the track, she is a professional and always shows up. Last time, there was no pace at all and I think I was too close to the pace and that’s why she didn’t finish.

“Today the race set up really good for her. When I asked her turning for home around the three-eighths, she picked it up really well and she switched leads. At the end, we got the win.”

Queen Goddess was 2 1/2 lengths clear of Hamwood Flier in third.

With earnings verging on the $1 million dollar mark after the Goldikova, Closing Remarks improved her record to 7-5-4 from 24 starts. She’s earned $600,500 alone in 2023.

The sole stakes winner produced from Unusual Heat mare Orange Cove, Closing Remarks was sired by the late Vronsky. The son of Danzig stood at Harris Farm until his untimely death at age 22 in 2021. Among his top progeny this year are Bing Crosby Stakes (G1) winner The Chosen Vron , who finished a respectable fifth in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).

Video: Goldikova S. (G2T)

Ruby Nell Speeds Away to Take Autumn Miss Stakes

The 3-year-old filly Ruby Nell  rushed up from her outside post, took the lead into the first turn, and never looked back over the Santa Anita one-mile turf course scoring an impressive victory over six rivals in the Autumn Miss Stakes (G3T) Nov. 5.  

Spendthrift Farm&#39;s Ruby Nell and jockey Edwin Maldonado win the Grade III $100,000 Autumn Miss Stakes Sunday, November 5, 2023 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, CA.<br>
Benoit Photo
Photo: Benoit Photo

Ruby Nell wins the Autumn Miss Stakes

It was the first graded stakes win for the daughter of Bolt d’Oro   and her fourth tally this year coming off a one-length win in the 6 1/2-furlong Unzip Me Stakes Oct. 1.

Owned by Spendthrift Farm and trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella (who was celebrating a birthday), Ruby Nell, carved out ambitious fractions under the careful handling of Edwin Maldonado of :22.61, 45.46, 1.08.67 while opening a commanding 10-length lead into the head of the stretch. At the top of the lane, the gutsy filly kept motoring along, cruising to an easy 3 1/4-length win while completing the one-mile in a snappy 1:32.62.

Eclipse Thoroughbreds grade 1 winning Anisette , the heavy 1-2 favorite, shook free late but could only make up modest ground while never threatening the winner at any point during the stretch drive. The four-time winner had to settle for a well-beaten second. Breath Away  won a photo over Justique  to finish third.

Ruby Nell paid $7.60 for a $2 win ticket as the second betting choice and is now 4-2-1 from 8 starts with earnings of $258,250.

Ruby Nell, bred by Solana Beach Sales, was a $1.2 million dollar purchase at the 2022 Fasig-Tipton Florida Select (Gulfstream) 2-Year-Olds in Training sale.

Video: Autumn Miss S. (G3T)




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