01/05/2017 2:46PM

2016 Eclipse Awards: Haveyougoneaway

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Debra A. Roma
Haveyougoneaway wins the Grade 1 Ballerina at Saratoga.

Haveyougoneaway began her 2016 campaign by winning a pair of ungraded sprint stakes at Oaklawn Park. They were solid efforts, but little did anyone suspect that the 5-year-old mare would go on to become a divisional finalist for an Eclipse Award.

By late summer, however, under new silks and in a new barn, Haveyougoneaway was the unofficial leader of the female sprint division by virtue of winning the Grade 1 Ballerina Stakes on the Aug. 27 Travers undercard at Saratoga.

“Means everything – it’s the Ballerina,” Tom Morley told Daily Racing Form about notching the first Grade 1 victory of his training career. “It doesn’t get much better than this – Travers Day and we’re here in Saratoga.”

:: Eclipse Awards: 2016 finalists with profiles

The year began at Oaklawn amid far less fanfare when Haveyougoneaway raced for the Champion Racing Stable of Rick Cundiff and trainer Allen Milligan. Victories in the American Beauty and Spring Fever were followed by a runner-up finish in the Carousel in mid-April.

At that point, Gary Barber and Sequel Racing stepped in to privately purchase Haveyougoneaway for an undisclosed sum. At first they raced her with New York-breds, and in her first two starts for Morley, both at Belmont Park, she was second in the Critical Eye in late May and won the Dancing Renee in early July. But once let loose in graded company, Haveyougoneaway soon became a major player in the division by capturing back-to-back stakes at Saratoga.

In the Grade 2 Honorable Miss at six furlongs, Haveyougoneaway rallied to prevail by a neck over Paulassilverlining with Kendrick Carmouche aboard.

“She really gutted it out all the way to the line and just got there in time,” said Morley. “What a thrill.”

In the seven-furlong Ballerina, sent away at 10-1 in a talent-laden field of 10, she got a perfect outside trip under John Velazquez and overtook Carina Mia and By the Moon in deep stretch to win by a half-length.

“I wanted to wait until the quarter pole and let her finish from there, and it worked out good,” said Velazquez.

Haveyougoneaway then made her final career start as the 7-2 second choice among a field of 13 in the Nov. 5 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita. It was a disappointing conclusion to an otherwise terrific year, as she raced in mid-pack throughout the seven-furlong race and finished seventh, beaten 4 1/2 lengths by the victorious Finest City.

Barber, a film executive who lives in Los Angeles, often takes on partners in his many Thoroughbred ventures. With Haveyougoneaway, he teamed with Sequel, owned by noted bloodstock agent Becky Thomas.

Haveyougoneaway led the most productive season of training yet for Morley, a 33-year-old Englishman who took out his license in 2013 after working for several top trainers in his native country and the U.S. Morley and his wife, broadcaster Maggie Wolfendale of the New York Racing Association, celebrated the birth of their first child in December.

Haveyougoneaway, bred in New York by Andy and Susan Beadnell, was sired by Congrats and produced by the unraced mare One Wise Cowgirl, by Wiseman’s Ferry. She has been retired to the breeding shed with career totals of 11 wins from 27 starts and earnings of $907,425. In 2016, she had 5 wins and 2 seconds from 8 starts and earned $655,000.

Haveyougoneaway was sold several times before Barber and Sequel bought her from Champion, a privately held company based in Weatherford, Texas. Champion purchased her as a 2-year-old at the 2013 Keeneland November sale.