Gary Barber's filly Wonder Gadot is on target to start in Saturday's Grade 1, $1 million Cotillion at Parx Racing according to trainer Mark Casse. The 3-year-old filly by Medaglia d' Oro will make her 10th start of the year following her last place finish against the boys in the Grade 1 Travers on August 25 at Saratoga Race Course.
The Ontario-bred owns victories in the Queen's Plate at Woodbine and the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie at 1 1/4 miles and 1 1/16 miles respectively and had the chance to capture the Canadian Triple Crown with a win in the 1 1/2 mile Breeders' Stakes on turf at Woodbine.
After careful consideration which included opting to run in the Grade 1 Alabama at Saratoga, owner Gary Barber decided to try for history and instead elected to run in the Travers.
Wonder Gadot will now shorten from the Classic distance of 1 1/4 miles to the Cotillion's 1 1/16 mile distance.
“She's doing great,” Casse said. “My only concern with the race is that it's a little bit on the short side for us, but it's a big pot and its straight 3-year-old fillies, so we'll give it a try. She's training well.”
Wonder Gadot will face top 3-year-old filly Monomoy Girl for the third time in her career on Saturday after finishing third behind her in the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra on February 17 at Fair Grounds Race Course, then second a half-length behind in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks on May 4 at Churchill Downs. After a tough stretch duel between the two under the Twin Spires, Wonder Gadot's rider Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez claimed foul for alleged interference during their stretch run. The claim was disallowed, and the results stood.
With a chance for redemption, Casse is confident that his filly will be ready on Saturday and her two breezes since her Travers, a bullet 47.2 for four furlongs over a wet-fast Saratoga main track on September 6, followed by a slower 51 seconds flat at the same distance on September 14, over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga have kept her in peak form.
“She went a little too fast the time before so we wanted to make sure we didn't do that again,” said Casse. “I think maybe we overreacted, but she did it well. We don't have to worry about her fitness, that's for sure.
Casse added that Wonder Gadot will ship from Saratoga to Parx early Saturday morning.
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