SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Beach Haven Thoroughbreds’ Newly Minted added a fourth stakes score to her resume with a game effort off the bench in Thursday’s Union Avenue Handicap at Saratoga.
Sent from the far outside post as the 2/1 second choice under Jose Lezcano, Newly Minted settled into a close stalking position just off the right hip of defending champion Carrera Cat.
With the even-money favorite Ratajkowski applying additional pressure to their outside, the trio raced through opening fractions of :23.51 and :46.03, and at the top of the stretch, it could have been anyone’s race.
Newly Minted put herself in front as she changed leads at the top of the stretch and slowly edged away from Ratajkowski in mid-stretch.
Holding sway against Mrs. Orb‘s late rally, the Linda Rice trainee crossed a neck clear in a final time of 1:23.84 for the 7-furlong fast dirt sprint.
The stewards conducted an inquiry into the stretch run because Newly Minted appeared to drift out the 1/16 pole and impede Ratajkowski, who steadied hard, but they opted to make no change upon review.
“It was a tough trip,” Lezcano said. “(Ratajkowski) got outside me early and we were under pressure the whole way. I could feel her getting tired, but she battled all the way to the end. She’s all heart.”
Mrs. Orb was 3/4 of a length ahead of Forever Changed, herself a head better than Collegeville Girl. Ratajkowski and a spent Carerra Cat completed the order of finish in the field of New York-bred fillies and mares.
Newly Minted’s win improved her overall record to 11-6-3-1 with $515,988 earned. The 4-year-old Central Banker filly was making her first start in five months, having finished second in March’s Heavenly Prize Invitational at Aqueduct.
“I was (worried about the layoff),” Rice said. “I didn’t get as many workouts into her as I would have liked, but she has a lot of raw talent and I was hoping it would carry her through.”
Newly Minted returned $6.20 to win, $3.70 to place, and $3 to show. Mrs. Orb brought back $4.50 to place and $3.40 to show, while Forever Changed paid $6.70 to show.