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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – George Krikorian’s War Like Goddess‘ massive sweeping move in the far turn propelled her forward just enough to nip the even-money favorite Always Shopping on the wire to win Saturday’s $100,000 Orchid Stakes Presented by Exmark (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
War Like Goddess broke from the rail under Julien Leparoux as the 5/1 third choice and settled at the rear in the field of nine fillies and mares. Sister Hanan outkicked Belle Laura for the lead before posting fractions of :23.93, :48.55, 1:13.83, and 1:37.49 for the opening mile.
War Like Goddess made her move in the far turn and tipped out wide as she neared the top of the stretch, then exerted a sustained rally to reel in Always Shopping, who took the lead inside the 3/16 pole and momentarily looked home free.
Gaining ground with every step, the Bill Mott trainee put her nose down first while completing the 1 3/8-mile firm turf route in 2:12.34.
“I didn’t know if I got it or not at the wire,” Leparoux said. “No matter what happened, she ran good. I’m glad I got the win. She’s the kind of filly who comes from behind, so on this track, you have to worry about that a little bit, but she had a nice kick at the end. She made it fun.”
Sorrel took third by a 1/2-length in front of Delta’s Kingdom, with Sister Hanan another 3/4 length further back in fifth.
Morning Molly, Crystalle, Belle Laura, and Dizzy completed the order of finish. Enjoyitwhilewecan scratched.
War Like Goddess’ win was her third from 4 career starts, with her lone defeat coming in her stakes debut last time out in the The Very One Stakes (G3), where she finished fifth. The 4-year-old English Channel filly, purchased for $30,000 as an unraced juvenile, has now earned $156,184.
“Timing was important there,” Mott said. “She just got up in the last jump. I just told Julien to let her get her feet under her and make a run. I kept it simple.”
War Like Goddess returned $13.20 to win, $4.80 to place, and $3.40 to show. Always Shopping brought back $3 to place and $2.40 to show. Sorrel paid $3.20 to show.
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