Jun 25, 2022
Gerrymander returns to winning form in G2 Mother Goose
by Ryan Martin
Klaravich Stables’ Gerrymander gave four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown a sweep of both Saturday stakes at Belmont Park when capturing the Grade 2, $250,000 Mother Goose for sophomore fillies going 1 1/16 miles.
The triumph came just shy of three hours after Brown saddled fellow 3-year-old filly and Grade 1-placed Eminent Victor to a hard-fought win in the one-mile $100,000 Wild Applause over the Widener turf.
“My staff has done a remarkable job,” said Brown, who has won 13 stakes during the Belmont spring/summer meet. “We had a bunch of different horses in today and won both stakes today as we're getting to the finish line of the Belmont meet. It's capping off a real super summer for us."
Gerrymander, an Into Mischief bay, made amends from a distant sixth-place finish in the Grade 2 Eight Belles on May 6 at Churchill Downs. The now three-time winner would not be denied in her second start off a layoff, sweeping three-wide in upper stretch to edge clear past the three-sixteenths pole and secure a three-length win.
Gerrymander broke on top from post 3 but took back under Joel Rosario as 1-2 favorite Juju’s Map gained command through an opening quarter-mile in 24.09 seconds over the fast main track with less than two lengths covering the four-horse field. Juju’s Map maintained her advantage down the backstretch as Gerrymander stalked a close third on even terms with Shahama to her outside and Venti Valentine in close contention in fourth.
Shahama loomed closer and right off the flank of Juju’s Map through a sharp half-mile in 46.90, eventually taking command as Rosario angled Gerrymander several paths wide and in the clear. Gerrymander gained advantage just past the quarter-pole and extended her lead throughout the stretch run, stopping the clock in a final time of 1:43.74. In victory, Gerrymander, who returned $15 for a $2 win wager, secured her second stakes score and first at graded level.
Shahama, winner of the Group 3 UAE Oaks in February, completed the exacta 4 3/4 lengths clear of Juju’s Map. Venti Valentine rounded out the order of finish. Midnight Stroll was scratched.
Gerrymander finished a distant second to Echo Zulu in the Grade 1 Frizette in October at Belmont before capturing the Tempted one month later in wire-to-wire fashion over Big Sandy, defeating eventual stakes-winner Magic Circle and subsequent Kentucky Oaks and Belmont Stakes runner-up Nest.
“When she broke out on the front, I liked it because she trains that way - like a horse that will like being on or near the lead as we stretch her out. In her works, she's like that,” said Brown, who won the 2019 Mother Goose with Dunbar Road. “When he [Joel Rosario] decided to put a hold on her a little bit and let Juju's Map overtake them, I did question it down the backside. I didn't know that was the right move. When I saw the fraction from 24 to 46, they went an inside 22 and change, I said, ‘Well, actually, Joel has a better clock than I do because that was probably the right move to do.’ And sure enough, it was the winning move.”
Rosario, who added a fourth Mother Goose conquest to his resume, said Gerrymander made the lead by default.
“She broke well and it looked like they didn’t want the lead. So, I kind of went and they wanted it down the backside a little bit, so I just had to be where I was,” Rosario said. “She handled everything fine and she was able to come into the last turn and get the jump. She seemed really comfortable, and it worked out good. It set up well.”
Bred in Kentucky by Town and Country Horse Farms and Pollock Farms, Gerrymander banked $137,500 in victory while improving her record to 6-3-2-0. She was purchased for $375,000 from the Taylor Made Sales Agency consignment at the 2020 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
Gerrymander is out of the graded stakes-placed Hard Spun mare Ruby Lips, who also produced millionaire dirt marathon specialist Lone Rock.
Brown said Gerrymander’s pedigree could put her in the mix for the 10-furlong Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama on August 20 at Saratoga Race Course. He swept the Mother Goose-Alabama double with Dunbar Road.
“Being a half to Lone Rock, who is a cool, consistent horse, who runs all day on the dirt, you'd figure she'd have some similarities,” Brown said. “Hopefully, with her pedigree, I don't think a mile and a quarter is out of the question for this horse. I’d like to try and get to the Alabama with her.”
Live racing resumes Sunday with a nine-race card, featuring the $100,000 Dancin Renee in Race 8. First post is 1 p.m. Eastern.
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