LNJ Foxwoods' Covfefe remained undefeated in 2019 with a win in Friday afternoon's Grade 3 Miss Preakness Stakes at Pimlico, trouncing the field by 8 1/2 lengths in track-record time. The 3-year-old Into Mischief filly completed six furlongs over the fast track in 1:07.70, giving Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano his third win in a row on the Black-Eyed Susan card. Trained by Brad Cox, the 8-5 favorite Covfefe took her first graded victory to improve her record to three wins from four career starts.
“Javier did a great job,” said Cox. “She did break the track record? It doesn't matter, but she's fast. We weren't hell-bent on getting to the lead today. We were going to let the speed go if there was a lot of it. Javier did a great job of letting her fall into the race.”
After crossing the wire, Congrats Gal was pulled up early by jockey Trevor McCarthy. He dismounted and the filly collapsed shortly thereafter.
“Congrats Gal suffered sudden death after the eighth race today,” read a statement from The Stronach Group and Maryland Jockey Club. “The incident occurred after the wire. Commission veterinarians attended to the horse immediately. Our thoughts go out to all of the owners, trainers and connections of Congrats Gal.
“The Stronach Group is committed to the welfare and safety of horses above all and we are saddened by what happened today. A full necropsy will be performed to try to determine the cause of death.”
Covfefe took the lead at the start and dictated the pace throughout, speeding through fractions of :22.24 and :44.43 en route to her track-record victory. She was tracked early by Congrats Gal, but that rival faded and Covfefe was chased down the stretch by Please Flatter Me. The remaining order of finish was: Tomlin, Midnight Fantasy, Never Enough Time, Bye Bye J, Fighting Mad, Brunette Princess, and Congrats Gal.
“She did it very easy,” said Castellano. “I didn't expect her to be on the lead. She has speed but the way I handicapped the race, in the back of my mind I didn't want to take th epace because I knew it was going to be really fast and I was looking to save something for the end. But it didn't work that way. She broke out of the gate and I had the best horse in the race.”
The former track record of 1:09.00 was set on Aug. 18, 1990 by Northern Wolf.
Bred in Kentucky by Alexander-Groves Thoroughbreds, Covfefe was a $250,000 yearling purchase at the Keeneland September sale. She is out of Antics, the unraced daughter of Unbridled and stakes winner Aurora (Danzig), making Covfefe a half-sister to Japanese-raced millionaire and Group 2 winner Albiano. The filly has now won three of her four starts for earnings of $160,000.
“She's worthy of trying a Grade 1,” Cox added, noting that the G1 Test Stakes could be next the filly's agenda.
The victory earned Covfefe a no-guarantee breeding season to Shaman Ghost.
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