Munasara Takes Undefeated Record to Mother Goose: Sired by Bernardini and out of turf champion mare Lahudood, it is safe to call Munasara’s pedigree an interesting mix. After all, Bernardini was a dirt monster and the majority of his progeny tend to follow his footsteps in preferring dirt, with some exceptions. Lahudood had a stellar turf career and won the 2007 Breeders’ Cup F/M Turf over an exceptional field. Her overall pedigree is European. Yet, here is Lahudood’s daughter Munasara with two dirt wins on the resume.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin should have Munasara cranked up for this initial graded stakes attempt under the Shadwell Stable colors on Saturday, June 27, 2015 at Belmont Park for the Mother Goose Stakes. Photo: LATT
Munasara goes for three straight wins in the Mother Goose (GI) on Saturday at Belmont Park, run at 8.5 furlongs around one turn. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin should have her cranked up for this initial graded stakes attempt under the Shadwell Stable colors.
In Munasara’s March 15 career debut at Gulfstream Park, she won a seven furlong sprint in an unimpressive fashion. There are a couple of things to note though. Considering her sire Bernardini preferred nine furlong races or longer, and Lahudood’s Breeders’ Cup win came at 11 furlongs, judging Munasara harshly in a seven furlong event is not the best idea. She won her career debut and that is better than how most horses fare without experience.
Munasara then reappeared two months later at Belmont Park and won an optional claiming event at one mile. Unfortunately, the replay is not on YouTube, but she won by the same margin of just over two lengths. When reading the past performances, it is important to note that seeing italics on the other runners means that horse won next time out. The second place finisher So You Say won an allowance event in her next race to back up the quality of Munasara’s win. From post position four, expect Munasara to sit off Embellish the Lace’s flank early, and maybe jockey John Velazquez can notch a Grade I win for this Bernardini filly.
Embellish the Lace will not go down easily. A sibling to notable runners Afleet Express and Reporting for Duty, this filly improved rapidly after her 14-length loss three starts ago. She won her last two starts by a combined 23 lengths!
The first of those two wins came at PARX, a lower-tier racetrack with questionable competition. This makes analyzing the win difficult. At least, the italics show for the runner-up. At Pimlico, Embellish the Lace then won by 13 lengths in an optional claimer. The comments on the side note she was under a “solid hand ride.” Again, be careful about getting too excited. Pimlico is a step above PARX and a step below Belmont Park as well. The switch to Irad Ortiz is interesting because he tends to be more patient than other jockeys, which might work against this filly’s style. The rail post position may force Ortiz’s hand and encourage him to send.
Beyond the top two choices, the options look untrustworthy for anything more than a minor share. Include Betty from the number two post position will put in her usual late run. She just seems to be a step below the best. Joel Rosario pilots Chide for trainer Al Stall from post number five, and she has not finished worse than second in three tries. Also, fans of Tale of Verve might notice trainer Dallas Stewart sends out Pleasant Tales for the same owner Charles Fipke. Give Wonder Gal a glance from the far outside too, as she likes running in the money.
Watching Munasara’s progression will be interesting, as promising Bernardini stars tend to flame out more often than not. From various sources, the demeanor of most Bernardini progeny has been noted as less than pleasant, and perhaps this hampers their progression. For now, Munasara is in top form and appears the best horse on paper for this race. Use Embellish the Lace in horizontal wagers along with Munasara and focus on them in exotics, or if there is no value to be found underneath then skip the race.
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Wedding Toast continued a very good weekend for TDN Rising Stars with a reasonably easy defeat of reigning 3-year-old filly champion Untapable in the Ogden Phipps, a "Win and You’re In" event for the GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Keeneland Oct. 30.
Accorded Rising Star status with a 14 1/2-length allowance victory going this track’s one-turn mile in September 2013, Wedding Toast closed the season with a pair of black-type successes, including the GIII Comely S. Runner-up to Princess of Sylmar (Majestic Warrior) in the Cat Cay S. in a single start at four last season, the homebred was victorious in the Jan. 7 Miami Shores H. before finishing third to House Rules in the GIII Rampart S. at Gulfstream Feb. 21. Fourth to Princess Violet (Officer) in the seven-furlong GI Madison S. At Keeneland Apr. 4, Wedding Toast was entering the Phipps off a four-length defeat of Princess Violet in this track’s one-mile GII Ruffian S. May 9.
While it appeared on paper that Princess Violet had the necessary speed to lead, Wedding Toast ambled to the lead when it became apparent that the Schwartz runner was not being sent and got an opening quarter-mile in a modest :23.64, as Untapable was settled four deep under a confident John Velazquez. The chalk was given her cue leaving the half-mile pole and gained steadily on the turn, but was trapped out deep, while Wedding Toast was still enjoying a comfortable time of it on the engine and got to the five-sixteenths marker in 1:10.28. The Godolphin runner turned for home comfortably in front, went further clear into the final furlong and cruised home an easy winner. Untapable was all out to just save second from House Rules while covering 38 feet (about 4.4 lengths) more than the winner, according to Trakus.
"I thought Princess Violet would go and I'd be sitting second with Untapable in third, but nobody wanted to go," Lezcano admitted. "My filly went to the lead very easily. She just galloped along, and when I asked her she gave me the kick I needed to win the race."
It was the first Grade I success for Wedding Toast, who was produced by an unraced half-sister to MGISW Congaree (Arazi) and SW & GISP Sangaree (Awesome Again).
Saturday, Belmont Park OGDEN PHIPPS S.-GI, $955,000, BEL, 6-6, 4yo/up, f/m, 1 1/16m, 1:40 1/5, ft.
1--sWEDDING TOAST, 117, m, 5, by Street Sense
1st Dam: Golden Sheba, by Coronado's Quest
2nd Dam: Mari's Sheba, by Mari's Book
3rd Dam: Sheba Little (GB), by Known Fact
O-Godolphin Racing LLC; B-Darley (KY); T-Kiaran P McLaughlin; J-Jose Lezcano. $535,000. Lifetime Record: 11-7-2-1, $1,179,956.
Second choice Wedding Toast led all the way in the $1 million Ogden Phipps Stakes at Belmont Park June 6, drawing off to win by five lengths while favored champion Untapable was second.
Wedding Toast, a 5-year-old Street Sense mare trained by Kiaran McLaughlin for Godolphin Racing, won her second race in a row after taking the May 9 Ruffian Handicap at Belmont. She is the fifth grade I winner for Street Sense, winner of the 2007 Kentucky Derby.
Final time for the 1-1/16-mile test was 1:40.21 on a fast track.
Jockey Jose Lezcano gave Wedding Toast a ground-saving trip along the rail and the dark bay mare clicked off sensible fractions of :23.64 seconds and :46.62 seconds, while leading by a length over Princess Violet and Shayjolie.
"Jose made a great decision to go to the lead," McLaughlin said. "I told him we were hoping to be laying third. He said, 'I'll cover up and we'll be laying third.' There didn't look like there was a lot of pace, so he made a great decision when the gates opened ? It worked out great. They let her go easy and that was the difference. He deserves a lot of credit."
Untapable, the 123-pound highweight under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, was fifth after breaking a step slow. She made a big move on the outside to get into position heading into the far turn, but Wedding Toast was full of run after getting three-quarters in 1:10.28.
"She didn't get away from there with a clean lead. The other mare did," said Steve Asmussen, trainer of Untapable. "I definitely thought she'd be in a better position early... She wheeled out to go at her, but that filly took off and ran really fast to the wire."
The eventual winner opened up through the stretch, running a 1:34.05 mile while kept to the task with some right-handed urging from Lezcano.
"I thought Princess Violet would go and I'd be sitting second with Untapable in third, but nobody wanted to go," Lezcano said. "My filly went to the lead very easily. She just galloped along, and when I asked her, she gave me the kick I needed to win the race."
Wedding Toast returned $6.30 and $2.80 at odds of 2-1 under an impost of 117, while 3-5 Untapable paid $2.20, getting the bob by a head over 16-1 House Rules. There was no show wagering in the race of six older fillies and mares.
Completing the order of finish were Rosalind, Princess Violet, and Shayjolie.
The Ogden Phipps is a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" event for the Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup Distaff. McLaughlin said no decision has been made as to where Wedding Toast will make her next start.
Bred in Kentucky by Darley out of the Coronado's Quest mare Golden Sheba, Wedding Toast improved her record to 7-2-1 from 11 starts for earnings of $1,179,956. The Ogden Phipps was her first grade I victory.
"She's a very nice filly," McLaughlin said. "My brother Neal and his wife, Trish, up in Saratoga, have done a real good job with her. She's been up there training. She's a nice homebred ? [and] it's nice to win for Godolphin. It was a great race."
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin had a big day on Saturday, sending out Wedding Toast to victory in the Grade 1, $1 million Ogden Phipps and Frosted to a second-place finish in the Belmont.
A homebred daughter of Street Sense owned by Godolphin Racing, Wedding Toast led the Ogden Phipps field from start to finish, besting last year's Champion 3-Year-Old Filly Untapable by five lengths on the wire.
Later on the card, Frosted sat just off the pace in the Belmont and took a run at American Pharoah in upper stretch, but was no match for his Triple Crown-winning rival, who drew off to win by 5 ½ lengths.
"It was an exciting race," said McLaughlin. "For about three strides I started to call on [Frosted] and then I looked back at the leader and said, 'oops.' We were very proud of our horse, he ran very well he just ran into a star.
"It was a great day of racing, to have a Triple Crown winner," McLaughlin added. "We were second best, no excuses. We got paid for second this time, last time we thought we were second best but finished fourth [in the Kentucky Derby]. American Pharoah is a great horse; he does everything right and he does it effortlessly."
According to McLaughlin, both runners came back to the barn in good shape.