By Paulick Report Staff
Joel Politi’s Serengeti Empress made it look easy in a frontrunning 9-5 route in Saturday’s G2 Rachel Alexandra, crossing the line 4 1/2 lengths ahead of her closest rival to earn 50 points toward the Kentucky Oaks. Ridden by James Graham for trainer Tom Amoss, the 3-year-old daughter of Alternation covered 1 1/16 miles over Fair Grounds’ fast main track in 1:44.71.
“Her cruising gear is so good,” Graham said. “You watch her races from Ellis park and from Churchill, she bounces along on the front end and travels through her races beautifully. She put them to bed turning for home. She did it the right way. She’s a little aggressive but she’s fast.”
“She is very naturally quick and that helps her cause a great deal,” Amoss added. “Certainly this racetrack helped her cause…having said that, I think that was a really good performance by a filly that a lot of people questioned whether she legitimately wanted to go a lot of ground…she took it to them today right out of the gate and it was fun to watch.”
A disappointing seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, Serengeti Empress made an impression in her first start of 2019. Unchallenged on the lead throughout the Rachel Alexandra, Graham and the filly set measured fractions of :24.02, :47.81, and 1:12.45 with about a one-length advantage over the pair of Molto Bella and Liora.
When Graham asked Serengeti Empress in the stretch, she responded by pulling away from her rivals with ease. She was hand-ridden through the wire after about the eighth pole, with Graham taking a look back over his shoulder just before cruising under the finish 4 1/2 lengths ahead of Liora. Eres Tu finished third, while Street Band and Needs Supervision rounded out the top five.
After the race, the rider of Needs Supervision, Joe Rocco, posted a claim of foul as he was bumped coming around the far turn just as the filly was getting into top gear. The stewards disallowed the objection.
Bred in Kentucky by Tri Eques Bloodstock, Serengeti Empress was a $25,000 weanling and a $70,000 yearling at the Keeneland November and September sales, respectively. The filly won at first asking, then finished fourth in Saratoga’s Schuylerville. Returning to her Kentucky base, Serengeti Empress posted a big win in the Ellis Park Debutante, and followed that up with a win in the G2 Golden Rod. Overall, the filly has won four of her six career starts, earning over $320,000.Article Source