SARATOGA SPRINGS – In all but one of the races in her six-race winning streak, Break Even was not only able to make the lead; she was also able to create some space between herself and her pursuers.
In Saturday’s $250,000 Prioress Stakes (G2), the Country Day filly made the lead all right but was never able to establish much of a margin. She was also running out of gas, having gone seven furlongs only once before. The result was when Royal Charlotte, the 3-5 favorite, made a run at her around the sixteenth pole, Break Even could offer only token resistance. The winning margin was a length and a half, with Break Even finishing 2½ clear of Risky Mandate for the place.
Break Curfew and Kept True brought up the rear. Time of the race over a fast main track was 1:09.45.
“I like the way she did it today,” said winning rider Javier Castellano. “The pace was hot and I had Break Even as a target every single step of the way. I tipped her outside and she finished strong. It was a small field, and they all grouped up together, and we sat behind them and it paid off.”
The Prioress victory followed Royal Charlotte’s puzzling sixth-place finish four weeks ago in the Test, where she never seemed to become involved.
“She didn’t do any running in the Test, but she wasn’t handling the track that day,” said winning trainer Chad Brown. “I just had noticed that the past couple of weeks the track has changed in the morning, and I think it might just be the climate.”
Royal Charlotte paid a generous $11.00 as the 9-2 third choice in the wagering. The daughter of Cairo Prince, who races for First Row Partners and Parkland Thoroughbreds, now has five wins in six starts, with a bankroll of $346,900.
The defeat was Break Even’s first in seven outings.
“I went to the front, and we got caught late,” said her jockey, Shaun Bridgmohan. “She tried like always.”