SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Michael Lund Petersen’s Gamine easily aced her latest “test” with a romping 7-length victory in Saturday’s $300,000 Longines Test Stakes (G1) at Saratoga.
Sent from post 5 under John Velazquez as the heavy 1/5 favorite, Gamine went straight to the front and came under early pressure from Venetian Harbor to her outside.
After knocking heads through opening fractions of :22.70 and :45.14, Gamine began to pull away from her rival, who came under a drive but was unable to keep pace with the favorite.
Drawing well clear in the stretch, the Bob Baffert trainee was ridden out while completing the 7-furlong fast dirt sprint in a final time of 1:20.83.
For context, the Saratoga 7-furlong dirt record is 1:20.40, set by Darby Creek Road on August 8, 1978.
“Obviously, she’s very good,” Velazquez said. “You love to be on these kinds of horses. I have to thank Bob and the owners for the opportunity. Bob said she breaks well and to kind of let her do her thing. If another horse wants to go too fast, we just let her sit second and she’ll be fine sitting second, but she broke so good and the other horse kind of stayed right next to me and didn’t press the pace very much, so I just kind of let her do what she wanted to do the first 1/4-mile. Once we got to the turn, I let her get into the turn and she got really comfortable and really smooth and got away from the other horse and kept going. Very nice.”
Though no match for the winner, Venetian Harbor was 6 1/2 lengths well-clear of Up in Smoke in third. Perfect Alibi nosed out Mrs. Danvers to complete the order of finish.
Wicked Whisper was scratched.
Gamine’s win backed up her monstrous 18 3/4-length victory in the Acorn Stakes (G1) last time out and improved her overall record to 4-3-0-0 with $363,000 earned. The 3-year-old Into Mischief filly still has a bit of a ways to go if she hopes to reimburse Petersen for the $1.8 million that he paid for her as an unraced juvenile, but she seems on the right track.
“She’s rising straight to the top,” said assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes. “For what she’s accomplished so far for such a lightly-raced filly, we look forward to stretching her out and see what comes of that.”
Gamine returned $2.60 to win and $2.10 to place, while Venetian Harbor paid $2.30 to place. There was no show betting.