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SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Silverton Hill’s 27-1 longshot homebred mare Ruby Notion took command at the top of the stretch and dug in gamely to fend off a late challenge from Chanteline to upset a rainy edition of Monday’s $200,000 Caress Stakes at Saratoga.
Breaking well from post 8 under Florent Geroux, Ruby Notion settled three-wide near the front while Girls Know Best led through opening splits of :22.36 and :46.96. Midway through the far turn, Ruby Notion began making her bid, and by the time the field straightened for home, she had Girls Know Best within reach. Storming down the lane, the Darrin Miller trainee took command with less than a furlong to go, then continued running on strongly to beat Chanteline to the wire by 2 lengths in a final time of 1:06.43 for the 5 1/2-furlong sprint over the yielding turf course.
“When horses run on this type of ground, it’s just a question of who can handle it the most,” Geroux said. “It looked like she really enjoyed it out there. When I came turning for home, she gave me all the indications she was going to go all the way to the end.”
Just Talkin commenced a furious rally from the rear down the center but had spotted the leaders too much early and could only muster third over the 3-1 co-favorite Morticia and a fading Girls Know Best. Triple Chelsea, the other co-favorite, failed to fire over the soft surface and crossed in sixth by a neck over Bowie, with Fire Key and Brielle’s Appeal close behind them to complete the order of finish. Lull, Tillie’s Lily, Faypien, and Kirby’s Penny were all scratched (the last two are cross-entered in this Wednesday’s Grade 2 Honorable Miss Handicap).
Ruby Notion’s win was her first since an allowance score at Churchill Downs on June 9, 2017, and improved her overall record to 13-5-0-3. The 5-year-old daughter of Great Notion, winner of a pair of small stakes events as a juvenile, increased her lifetime bankroll to $276,578.
Ruby Notion returned $56.50 to win, $19.60 to place, and $8.80 to show. Chanteline brought back $12.40 to place and $7.80 to show, while Just Talkin paid $5.20 to show.
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