08/27/2016 4:01PM

Cavorting saves best for last in Personal Ensign

Barbara D. Livingston
Under a patient ride by Javier Castellano, Cavorting wins the Grade 1 Personal Ensign on Saturday.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Cavorting had run on her mind when the gates opened for the Personal Ensign on Saturday at Saratoga, but jockey Javier Castellano was dead set on not squandering her energy, and wrestled her back to last position in the five-horse field. It proved to be a winning move.

The other four runners in the field - I'm a Chatterbox, Curalina, Forever Unbridled, and Paid Up Subscriber - raced side by side into the first turn of the 1 1/8-mile race, with Paid Up Subscriber widest of all. I'm a Chatterbox came away with the lead, with Curalina tracking her through splits of 23.98, 48.77, and 1:12.64.

Forever Unbridled joined the top pair three wide on the far turn as Cavorting remained unhurried behind them. The field fanned out across the track entering the stretch with Cavorting farthest out in the track, and the sprint to the wire was on.

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Curalina eventually got the best of I'm a Chatterbox but Cavorting got in the last word and streaked to the lead in deep stretch to win by a half-length. Curlina was second, a neck ahead of Forever Unbridled, who continued bravely for third.

I'm a Chatterbox finished fourth, a half-length behind Forever Unbridled. The field was completed by Paid Up Subscriber, who trailed I'm a Chatterbox by two lengths.

Cavorting paid $6.90 as the second betting choice behind Curalina. Cavorting was timed in 1:48.61 after a mile time of 1:36.28.

The $695,000 Personal Ensign was part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge series, with the winner scheduled to receive a fees-paid berth in the Breeders' Cup Distaff. Cavorting already has a ticket to the BC Distaff, however, as she won the Grade 1 Phipps, also a Win and You're In, in her prior start.

Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and owned by the Stonestreet Stables of Barbara Banke, Cavorting is now 8 for 13 in her career with earnings of more than $2 million.

"Javier did great into the first turn," McLaughlin said. "He may have won the race right there."

Last year at 3, Cavorting  was among the best filly and mare sprinters in the country. In her most recent three starts she has successfully stretched out to a mile in the Grade 2 Ruffian, to 1 1/16 miles in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps, and now to 1 1/8 miles in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign. The Personal Ensign was her first start around two turns.

"She can do anything," McLaughlin said. "She won a Grade 2 at 2, Grade 1's at 3, and Grade 1's at 4."

McLaughlin said Cavorting would be pointed to the Breeders' Cup, but that he wanted to enjoy this win before making plans for her next start.