COVER SONG & DESORMEAUX SPRING 30-1 SURPRISE IN GRADE III, $100,000 AUTUMN MISS STAKES; 3-YEAR-OLD FILLY TRAINED BY GAINES WINS BY NOSE AND COVERS MILE ON GRASS IN 1:33.73
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 29, 2016)–Longshot Cover Song found just enough room inside heavily favored Danilovna a furlong out and prevailed by a nose in a thrilling finish to Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Autumn Miss Stakes at Santa Anita. Ridden by Kent Desormeaux and trained by Carla Gaines, Cover Song got a flat mile on turf in 1:33.73.
Mid-pack at the rail with a quarter mile to run, Cover Song angled out turning for home as she had pacesetters Belvoir Bay, Great Page and Lady Valeur to her inside. Three sixteenths of a mile from the wire, Danilovna was rolling to Cover Song’s outside, whereupon there was contact between the two of them, who ended up finishing first and second.
“…Turning for home, I was trying to pick a spot,” said Desormeaux, who collected his third win on the afternoon. “I thought I had a line chosen and the horse on the outside (Danilovna) started pushing on us, so I thought ‘Ok, if you’re going to initiate contact, I’m gonna hold my ground.
“I’m not even sure I left my line. I’ll have to watch the replay, but it became a horserace at that point. My filly ran her heart out. I could feel her turning it on. She would not lose.”
After an inquiry that lasted several minutes, the stewards ruled that Danilovna had initiated the contact and they let the original order of finish stand.
A troubled 10th in the 6 ½ furlong turf Unzip Me Stakes here on Oct. 1, Cover Song was off at 30-1 in a field of 10 three year old fillies and paid $63.40, $20.80 and $9.40.
“She’s been training well but we did come close to scratching her and running her down the hill,” said Gaines. “I’m glad we decided to stay with our first choice.”
Owned by B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm, LLC, Cover Song was bred in Kentucky and is by the Danehill stallion Fastnet Rock. The Autumn Miss is her first stakes win and she is now 8-2-0-3 overall. With the winner’s share of $60,000, she increased her earnings to $117,695.
A most impressive 1 1/16 miles turf allowance winner in her U.S. debut at Belmont Park Sept. 22, Irish-bred Danilovna broke from the rail with Flavien Prat and although there was contact between her and the winner, she was outrun late and had to settle for second, a half length in front Barleysugar.
Off at 3-2, Danilovna paid $4.20 and $2.80.
Irish-bred Barleysugar, who was next to last turning for home, kept to her task wide-out and finished a neck in front of yet another Emerald Isle native, Lady Valeur. Off at 6-1, Barleysugar paid $4.20 to show.
Fractions on the race were 22.89, 45.83, 1:09.47 and 1:21.39.