SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Returning to the winner’s circle for the first time in over a year, Three Chimneys Farm’s Carina Mia crossed the wire first in Wednesday’s $100,000 Shine Again at Saratoga Race Course.
Taking advantage of class relief after her last seven races were each against Grade 1 company, Carina Mia and jockey Javier Castellano completed the 7-furlong race fillies and mares in 1:22.23.
“The way I saw it, those fillies I didn’t think were quality or competitive with my filly, so I didn’t want to go to the lead and chance it,” said Castellano. “I had the perfect trip. I waited and it worked out great. I had a lot of pace and I had a lot of confidence because I know I have the best filly in the race, and she gave me a good result.”
Absatootly and Momameamaria set the pace with early fractions of :23.42 and :46.08 while Carina Mia sat just off along the rail.
Coming out of the far turn, Carina Mia made her move to the outside of the leaders while Going for Broke bolted to the lead near the rail. The two Chad Brown trainees quickly dispatched of the fading leaders and were locked in stride together before Carina Mia edged away to win by a neck.
“Both horses ran so well, they were so close at the finish,” said Brown, who also won last year’s Shine Again with Wavell Avenue. “I’m sorry there had to be a loser there, both horses ran terrific, but it’s a nice spot to be in to have two nice fillies like this.”
Indulgent was 3 1/4 lengths back in third and was followed in order by Momameamaria, Birdatthewire, Wheatfield, and Absatootly. Clipthecouponannie, Discreet Senorita, and Pawleys Express were scratched.
The 4-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon improved her career earnings to $193,520 with a record of 5-3-2 in 13 starts. The Shine Again was her first since relocating to Brown from Hall of Famer Bill Mott’s barn.
“She came over to me in pretty good shape about a month ago,” Brown said. “She had been working well with our barn, and 7/8 (of a mile) seems to be a really good distance for her. You’re always anxious the first time a horse starts for you as the trainer and how they’re going to do, but she ran to her workouts. I’m very relieved.”
Carina Mia returned $3.10 to win, $2.50 to place, and $2.20 to show. Going for Broke brought back $4.40 to place and $3.20 to show, while Indulgent paid $4.30 to show.