ELMONT, N.Y. – Making her second start of the year, Stonestreet Stable’s Cavorting made a welcome return to Belmont Park improving her career record to three wins from four starts at the track, as she impressively bested five rivals to capture the Grade 2, $250,000 Ruffian on Saturday.
Breaking from the rail with Javier Castellano aboard for the first time, the Kiaran McLaughlin-trained filly settled in fourth position, about three lengths behind Calamity Kate who led the field of six through fractions of 23.57 seconds for the opening quarter-mile with a half going in 47.05.
As the field reached the quarter-pole, Cavorting was swung four-wide and rallied outside horses from odds-on favorite Carrumba to take the lead in the upper stretch and extend away to the finish to earn a five length victory.
Off as the 5-2 second-choice, Cavorting returned $7.80 for a $2 win wager. Her final time for the one mile race was 1:34.05.
“It was a perfect trip,” said Castellano. “We drew a perfect picture before the race. I never rode the filly before and I’ve been studying a lot all week since the overnights came out. We drew the inside post, which was perfect for her to settle and make one run. I think that’s the key with her. She doesn’t want to be close to the pace because the question was how far she can go, but the way she did it today was phenomenal.
Picking up her first win since a victory last summer at Saratoga Race Course in the Grade 2 Prioress, the daughter of Bernardini boosted her career earnings to $1,128,000.
“It was a great effort, great ride,” said McLaughlin. “I always like to ask the jockeys what they think and Javier came and said ‘I think there’s enough speed we can lay third or fourth.’ I said ‘great, I’d love that’ and it worked perfectly.”
With the Ruffian as her first career win over seven furlongs in three tries, McLaughlin was encouraged by the effort and did not rule out the possibility of Cavorting stretching out further to 1 1/16 miles for the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps on Belmont Stakes Day.
“Winning that way, it looks like she’ll be able to get a mile or plus,” added McLaughlin. “A mile and a sixteenth there’s a big race on Belmont Day [Grade 1, Ogden Phipps] we might try.