The Thanksgiving holiday is in the books, and owner Mike Repole has plenty to be thankful for after his horses won five stakes in New York, and longshot players were thankful after several big upsets in graded stakes action.
The outspoken Repole skipped the Breeders’ Cup, critical of the Lasix ban for two-year-olds and the continual snub Breeders’ Cup Ltd. Gives to New York, which has not hosted the championship event since 2005.
On Thursday the festivities got off to a good start as Caixa Eletronica, racing with the Repole colors won the Fall Highweight (G3) by four lengths, returning $6.40 as the second betting choice. Notacatbutallama won Friday’s Super Mario Stakes on turf as the favorite, returning $2.90.
Things got even better on Saturday as Repole horses won three of the four graded stakes on the card. The two-year-old filly Unlimited Budget got things started with a victory in the Demoiselle (G2), taking the field gate to wire and returning $4.10 as the second choice in the compact field of five.
Next up it was Overanalyze winning the Remsen (G2) by a hard fought nose over Normandy Invasion, paying $5.50 as the betting favorite. The colt was coupled in the betting with Micromanage, who finished tenth.
Then it was a natural hat trick for Repole, as Stay Thirsty won the Cigar Mile (G1) over the filly Groupie Doll by a nose in the most exciting race of the weekend.
Stay Thirty Wins Cigar Mile
Stay Thirsty denied Groupie Doll her fourth Grade 1 of the year, and she came into the race off a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) three weeks ago at Santa Anita.
For the native New York, the holiday weekend was the Breeders’ Cup for Repole.
“I grew up 10 minutes from here,” said Repole. “I said, ‘This is my Breeders’ Cup weekend.’ We won four graded stakes. I don’t care how long I’m in racing, you’re not going to win three graded stakes in a row, two with two-year-olds and one with Stay Thirsty, who means so much to me. This is a special, special bittersweet moment, to go out a winner, beating Groupie Doll, who’s going to win the Eclipse Award. He had the lead one time, and it happened to be when the wire came up. What a great feeling to win three stakes in a row, just amazing.”
Stay Thirsty is headed to a stud career at Ashford Stud in Kentucky.
Longshot Players Thankful This Weekend
While the stakes action was relatively formful in New York, there were plenty of longshot winners in graded stakes over the holiday weekend.
At Churchill Downs on Saturday, Seaneen Girl pulled off the upset in the Golden Rod (G2), the two-year-old filly returning $64.00 for trainer Bernie Flint with Miguel Mena aboard.
Mena piloted another bomb on Sunday, with Keep Up making a strong late rally to get up and pull off the upset in the River City Handicap (G3), returning his backers $62.60.
It was an outstanding weekend for Mena, who also guided Uncaptured ($5.60) to a neck victory in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) on Saturday.
The longshots were hitting at Betfair Hollywood Park, starting on Thursday with Really Mr Greeley, who took the field gate to wire as the biggest price in the Hollywood Prevue (G3), paying $24.60.
Julien Leparoux rode the winner for trainer Bob Baffert, who saddled the first four finishers in the five horse field.
Travesura took the field gate to wire to win the Miesque (G3) on Saturday under jockey Tyler Baze, returning $24.80 for trainer Jeff Mullins.
The bombs continued on Sunday in the Matriarch (G1) where the Tom Albertrani trainee Better Lucky pulled off the upset, returning $72.20 for the win.
Better Lucky Upsets Matriarch
The New York bred Unbridled Command ($16.00) capped off the weekend by pulling off the mild upset in the Hollywood Derby (G1) for trainer Tom Bush.
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