Cavorting is now four-for-four at less than a mile following an easy 2 1/2-length victory in the $500,000 Test S. (G1) at Saratoga on Saturday.
The Bernardini filly was a bit overshadowed in the news due to champion Take Charge Brandi making her return from a more than six-month break in the seven-furlong contest, but the betting public wasn’t fooled and made Cavorting the lukewarm 5-2 favorite.
The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee settled into last early in the race as Take Charge Brandi set a swift pace up front. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. kept Cavorting just off the rail but still saving ground as the field made its way down the backstretch.
The bay miss continued her inside trip entering the turn but slowly began moving out while rounding the bend. She angled out even farther entering the straight and set her sights on Bar of Gold, who tracked Take Charge Brandi throughout before taking over at the top of the lane.
With daylight in front of her, Cavorting kicked into high gear and sailed on past Bar of Gold to finish in 1:22.81 over the fast main track.
It was Cavorting’s second straight stakes win after taking the Jersey Girl S. at Belmont Park on June 5. The Kentucky-bred miss have proven unbeatable going less than a mile, with her only two tries at that distance resulting in well-beaten, off-the-board runs. She’s also two-for-two at Saratoga now after scoring in last year’s Adirondack S. (G2) at the Spa as a juvenile.
Bar of Gold is improving with each start despite facing some tough rivals. The John Kimmel pupil romped in state-bred contests during the spring, then finished sixth in the Acorn S. (G1) two back while facing open company for the first time in her stakes debut. The dark bay lass tried the Delaware Oaks (G3) last out on July 11 and was fourth that day, so her runner-up effort here is encouraging.
Take Charge Brandi faded to last, but after setting splits of :23.2 and :46.21 who can blame her? It was the chestnut filly’s first start back since taking the Martha Washington S. on January 31 at Oaklawn Park, so she was eligible to tire under those circumstances and fractions.
Another excuse could be it’s just not her time of year. Take Charge Brandi didn’t get real good until the fall last season. Some horses have preference for seasons and Take Charge Brandi’s could be fall and winter.
Cavorting photo courtesy of NYRA/Chelsea Durand/Adam Coglianese Photography