Peter Brant's Quidura took the lead at the start and never relinquished it in Saturday's Grade 2 Ballston Spa Stakes, cruising under the wire a two-length winner for jockey Jose Ortiz. One of three trained by Chad Brown in the race, albeit the 7-2 second choice, the 5-year-old daughter of Dubawi covered 1 1/16 miles over Saratoga's firm turf in 1:39.67. The 4-5 favorite and Quidura's stablemate, A Raving Beauty finished fourth.
“We bought her [Quidura] at the sale last year and gave her plenty of time off,” said Brown. “She's had two starts this year. In her last start, it was on really soft turf that she doesn't like and she still almost won. Coming off that race, she was training strong and got the firm ground she liked. The track helped her today. the other ones it hurt. It was very, very firm today. Very speed favoring.
“It's a nice race to win, and I'm grateful for that. I had two other horses in the race that are really nice that didn't hit the board. I have to examine that. I have a feeling it is due to the turf course.”
Away well from post 5, Quidura cleared on the lead and quickly dropped over to the hedge, setting moderate fractions of 24.19 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 48.11 for the half while being tracked by Hawksmoor, who moved up to challenge Quidura on the far turn, pulling within a half-length.
Ortiz gave Quidura her cue turning for home, and the 5-year-old kicked clear once again, drawing off to defeat Hawksmoor by 1 ¾ lengths for trainer Chad Brown and owner Peter M. Brant. She completed 1 1/16 miles over the firm Mellon turf course in 1:39.67 and returned $9.50 for a $2 win wager as the 7-2 second choice.
“Perfect trip,” said Ortiz. “We wanted to go to the lead, but it didn't matter I had the whole inside, if I wasn't going to go, but once I led her there, she kept going.”
Indian Blessing finished 1 ¼ lengths behind Hawksmoor and edged Quidura's stablemates A Raving Beauty and Off Limits in a photo for third. Proctor's Ledge completed the order of finish.
Bred in Germany by Stiftung Gestut Fahrhof, Quidura went through last November's Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall mixed sale to the tune of $3.6 million with a pair of graded stakes wins on her resume. Returned to training this year, the mare ran second in an allowance race in July, and the Ballston Spa was her second start off the layoff. Overall, Quidura's record stands at 5-3-1 from 11 starts, with earnings of over $700,000.
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