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Godolphin Homebred Caramel Swirl Romps in Vagrancy

Despite heading into the final turn at Belmont Park positioned nearly last in the seven-horse field May 14, Caramel Swirl  was not going to admit defeat.

Kicking into her highest gear under coaxing from jockey Junior Alvarado, the 5-year-old mare plucked off her competitors one by one until rolling away 2 1/2 lengths free to take home the $175,000 Vagrancy Stakes (G3) for owner/breeder Godolphin—her first win in graded company since taking the 2021 Raven Run Stakes (G2) at Keeneland.

“I had a lot of horse underneath me, so I just let her cruise along, tipped out and she did the rest,” Alvarado said.

Rob Atras trainee Rossa Veloce , who had led nearly start to finish rattling off splits of :23.30 and :46.60, settled for third after favored Dr. B closed late to edge her out for place honors by three-quarters of a length.

Caramel Swirl ($6.40) completed the 6 1/2-furlong sprint over Belmont’s fast dirt track in 1:16.98. Her record improved to 5-4-2 from 13 starts and her earnings increased to $588,450.

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Conditioned by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, the mare has identical connections as 2022 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Cody’s Wish , a fan favorite who was successful last out in the Churchill Downs Stakes (G1) on the May 6 Kentucky Derby (G1) undercard.

 “She ran really well fresh today. He (Junior Alvarado) let her settle and get her feet under her and she came with a nice run. I was really pleased,” Mott said.

Similar to the popular colt, the daughter of Union Rags   had a slow start to her career and did not find the winner’s circle until her fifth try and third start at age 3. Since then, she has competed four times in graded company including her win in the Raven Run, runner-up in the 2022 Ballerina Handicap (G1) behind champion Goodnight Olive , third in the 2021 Charles Town Oaks (G3), and an off-the-board finish in the 2021 Eight Belles Stakes (G2). Last out, she was fourth in the Minaret Stakes Feb. 11 at Tampa Bay Downs following an extended layoff after the Ballerina.

“She’s been developing great. She’s been a little unlucky with hiccups along the way, but she always comes back and tries her best. I think we’re going to have an even better horse this year,” Alvarado said. “I think 6 1/2 (furlongs) to seven is just right. She’s quick but she needs a distance where she can get into her rhythm and still have a good kick to finish up strong.”

Bred in Kentucky by her owner, Caramel Swirl is out of the unraced Smart Strike mare Caramel Snap, who is a half sister to grade 1 winner and sire Frosted  . Caramel Snap has three winners from five foals to race. Her last foal is a yearling full sibling to the Vagrancy winner.

Video: Vagrancy S. (G3)

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