The Spa Spot: Risky Rachel wins Union Avenue
Risky Rachel ran just like a short-priced favorite is expected to perform and rolled to an easy victory in the Union Avenue overnight stake for New York-bred fillies Monday.
Sanford Bacon's Limehouse filly had a little trouble with her footing leaving the gate, then sat just behind the early pace of 22.75 and 45.69 set by Final Mesa. When asked by jockey Javier Castellano she opened up on the others and won by 3 1/2 lengths over Willet, completing the six furlongs in 1:09.02. She paid $3.40.
It was the first Saratoga victory for trainer Juan Coronel, who had hit the board with with his first two starters.
“I am very excited, finally, after two seconds," Coronel said. " I have been waiting for this moment for so long.”
One of those seconds was by Risky Rachel, who was softened up a bit by the torrid early fractions in the Fleet Indian on August 1.
“Last time, there was too much speed in the beginning," Coronel said. "That cost us the race. In the beginning, it was difficult because there were a couple of horses with a lot speed. Javier knows the filly, too. He broke good. He’s a great rider. He did very well.”
Castellano said he took a more conservative approach on in the Union Avenue.
“I was looking to be right behind the lead, and it worked out great for me because I didn’t want to dictate the pace," he said. "I wanted to let someone else. She was able to relax today and make a strong run. I was very satisfied with the way she did it; it was a great performance today.”