SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – No Royal Enclosure, no problem for Ten Broeck Farm’s Kimari, who built on a strong runner-up showing at Royal Ascot by wiring a six-horse field for a 4-length victory in the fifth running of the $100,000 Bolton Landing for juvenile fillies on Wednesday at Saratoga Race Course.
Off as the heavy 1/5 favorite under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, Kimari set the pace, going the opening 1/4-mile in :21.55 seconds on the Mellon turf labeled firm, with Vast and Abscond in pursuit. The Munnings filly kept the advantage out of the turn, with the 1/2-mile in :44.54 seconds, before pulling away from Abscond in completing 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:01.43 final time.
The Wesley Ward trainee won her debut by 15 lengths in a 4 1/2-furlong sprint on April 25 at Keeneland before stepping up in class in the Queen Mary (G2) at 5 furlongs on the straight Ascot course, running second by a head to Raffle Prize at 13/2 odds on June 19.
“She had been training real well. She showed us what we always had seen,” said Ollie Sangster, assistant to Ward. “We were a bit disappointed to get beat at Ascot, but they had a lot of rain, which wasn’t to her liking, but she still ran a big race. She showed us what she was made of today.”
Kimari, who Ward said before the race would be a candidate for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1) on November 1 at Santa Anita, improved to 2-for-2 in the United States, returning $2.50 on a $2 win wager.
“She broke well, and going to the 1/8 pole, she did it easy,” Velazquez said. “The blinkers off today relaxed her a bit, which was helpful. She was very impressive today. In the lane, she just went on and finished strong. She came from a really tough race at Ascot and she was ready today. I stayed on top of her and she came running.”
Abscond, ridden by fellow Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, finished strong in her stakes debut, besting Champagne Humor by 1 length for runner-up honors. Trained by Eddie Kenneally, Abscond who won her debut on July 21, is a daughter of Blame.
“She tried. Good effort. We were just second-best today,” Castellano said.
Vast, Classy Sadie, and Persian Queen completed the order of finish. Dontyouremember was scratched.