SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY – Pantofel Stable, Wachtel Stable, and Peter Deutsch’s Spiced Perfection stretched out strongly on Saturday, taking the field gate to wire in the $250,000 Go for Wand Handicap (G3) at Aqueduct.
Breaking alertly from post 3 under Javier Castellano as the 7/5 favorite in the six-horse field, Spiced Perfection immediately asserted herself on the front end before the field exited the chute onto the backstretch. Running comfortably on the lead, Spiced Perfection posted opening fractions of :24.74, :49.09, and 1:14.03.
Straightening for home still on the lead, Spiced Perfection came under pressure from Saguaro Row momentarily, but she soon dispatched of that foe. Confidently hand-ridden the length of the stretch, the Peter Miller trainee hit the wire 2 1/4 lengths ahead in a final time of 1:39.11 for the mile-long event over the fast main track.
“She did it very easily the first part of the race and had something left for the end,” Castellano said. “In the backstretch, I gave her a little breather. At the 3/8 pole, when everybody attacked me, I didn’t open up because it would cost me at the end. I went with the breather and with the momentum, and I think it paid off today.”
Though denied in the stretch, Saguarow Row held second by 1 1/4 lengths over Our Super Nova, while Needs Supervision was a 1/2-length back in fourth. Another Broad and Espresso Shot completed the order of finish.
Spiced Perfection’s win was her first beyond 7 furlongs and improved her overall record to 20-9-5-2 with $1,214,405 earned. The California-bred 4-year-old daughter of Smiling Tiger was most recently fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) over her home track of Santa Anita Park.
“We decided to let her take the lead and see if she would relax,” Miller said by phone from California. “Javier is a Hall of Famer and gave a great ride. For now, I think we’ll enjoy this. She’ll come back west and a race like the Santa Monica (G2) going 7/8 (of a mile) is a possibility.”
Spiced Perfection returned $4.80 to win and $2.80 to place, while Saguaro Row paid $3.60 to place. There was no show betting.