Jockey Manny Franco engineered a perfect stalk-and-pounce trip aboard 3-5 favorite Sharing in Friday’s $300,000 Edgewood Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs – a sneak preview of what he hopes to accomplish with the similarly odds-on favorite Tiz the Law in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby (G1).
By far the class of the field as the winner of 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) and runner-up in the June 20 Coronation (G1) at Royal Ascot last out, the Graham Motion trainee broke sharply and put herself in ideal position. In Good Spirits led the way through fractions of :24.44 and :48.76, but the favorite was just using her as a target.
Sharing collared the pacesetter at the 6-furlong mark in 1:12.81 and mastered her down the lane. Hendy Woods, checked early when tracking on the inside, tipped out to offer a solid rally. Yet she had to settle for second-best as Sharing had 1 1/4 lengths to spare at the wire.
“She has tactical speed,” Franco said. “She broke out of there good and put me in a position where I wanted to go. After that, she knows how to get it done. She is so nice and has a really good turn of foot. She is very professional.”
Hendy Woods’ trainer, Mark Casse, noted her early trouble line while paying tribute to Sharing.
“Very pleased. I want to talk to (jockey) Johnny (Velazquez) because twice he checked her and fell back in the saddle. I don’t know if that cost us anything, but definitely when you run against a filly like that and run second, there is no shame.”
Velazquez’s postrace quotes don’t indicate that the shuffling into the clubhouse turn had much of an impact.
“She ran really well,” Velazquez said. “She’s looking at the infield and everything. She’s not kind of settled behind the horses there. But finally she got settled on the second turn. I made a run with her. A good horse beat her today.”
Lucky Betty checked in a further 2 1/2 lengths back in third. In Good Spirits tired to fourth, followed by Pranked, Walk in Marrakesh, and the ever-trailing Mariafoot. Walk in Marrakesh did Mariafoot no favors when bumping into her at the start and forcing her into Pranked.
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Motion wasn’t as confident as her odds implied.
“I can’t lie, I was pretty anxious about it because she was coming off a long trip and a long break. But she’s so classy, she makes us all look good I think. She had a great work last weekend, and Manny (Franco) gave her a perfect ride. It couldn’t have set up any better quite honestly.”
“I figured she probably would be (a little fresh). The last thing I said was just tell Manny to keep her settled. She hasn’t run for a while so it’s not surprising but she’s never overly anxious. She’s such a pro.”
Sharing clocked the mile in 1:36.87 to achieve millionaire status with $1,038,746 in earnings from her 7-5-1-1 line. Campaigned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gainesway Stable, the chestnut also captured the Selima at Laurel in her stakes debut as well as the May 23 Tepin over this course.
Motion mentioned the Oct. 10 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) at Keeneland as the natural target, while having a scruple about the 1 1/8-mile trip:
“The only question I have in my mind is how far she wants to go. She obviously loves this distance. The next race would be 1 1/8 miles if we go to the QE2 at Keeneland. I don’t know if she wants to go that far. I don’t know why she wouldn’t, but she seems awfully good going a mile. I think the QE2 is a race anyone with a good 3-year-old filly wants to go.”
“I’m so tickled to get a race under her now because this makes it easier going forward now we’ve got this level of fitness. And I can’t say enough about working with Aron (Wellman of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners) and Antony (Beck of Gainesway). I feel like we’ve called the right shots and it’s because of them, they’ve never put any pressure on me.”
The $350,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling purchase was bred in Maryland by Sagamore Farm. Sharing is the offspring of two Breeders’ Cup winners, 2004 Sprint (G1) champion Speightstown and 2010 Filly & Mare Turf (G1) upsetter Shared Account, herself trained by Motion. Shared Account is the dam of another stakes scorer in Riley’s Choice. The Pleasantly Perfect mare is a half-sister to Grade 3 scorer Colonial Flag and also related to Grade 2 vixen Sapphire n’ Silk, who is responsible for Grade 2-winning sire Shaniko.