08/19/2011 5:04PM

Saratoga: Gitchee Goomie gives Violette his fourth Yaddo victory

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Barbara D. Livingston
Jockey Alan Garcia (left) gets Gitchee Goomie up for a nose victory in Friday's Yaddo Stakes at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Trainer Rick Violette put blinkers on Gitchee Goomie for Friday’s Yaddo Stakes because the New York-bred filly had often times been left with too much do at the end of her races. As he watched the early stages of Friday’s race unfold, Violette felt the blinkers had made Gitchee Goomie do too much.

But despite being a bit keen early, Gitchee Goomie still had something in reserve and, under Alan Garcia, she was able to gut out a nose victory over a stubborn Rogue’s Jewel in the $103,000 Yaddo at Saratoga. It was 1 3/4 lengths back to Frivolous Buck in third.

Gitchee Goomie gave Violette his second straight victory in the Yaddo and fourth overall; the first one coming in 1985 when this race was run on dirt.

 “It’s a cool race,” Violette said.

Violette put blinkers on Gitchee Goomie after she fell one-half length short of Chorus Music in the Irish Linnet Stakes here on July 24. On Friday, with Mystic City setting a slow early pace - the early fractions were 25.05 seconds, 50.65 and 1:14.49 for six furlongs - Gitchee Goomie was only three lengths off the early lead while racing between horses.

“She really gave Alan fits, she was on the bridle the entire way,” Violette said. “A lot of times that wears horses out.”

But Garcia did a good job of making sure Gitchee Goomie didn’t totally use herself. Turning for home, he was able to tip the filly out three wide and she came up outside of Mystic City and Rogue’s Jewel in upper stretch, then was able to outduel Rogue’s Jewel through the final sixteenth to get the victory.

Gitchee Goomie, a 4-year-old daughter of City Zip owned by Patsy Symons, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.38 and returned $4.10 as the even-money favorite. Symons was the owner of last year’s Yaddo winner, Meriwether Jessica.

“Today with the blinkers she surprised me, she was right there in the game, but the pace was a little slow anyway,” Garcia said. “So I was waiting, trying to save some ground and waited till we turned for home to let my filly run. I know if she’s a little closer I had to wait a little longer to let her run.”

 Despite the victory, Violette said he may consider removing the blinkers for Gitchee Goomie’s next race.

“I’m still between a rock and a hard place with the blinkers,” he said. “As soon as she put her head in front and doesn’t see the other filly she said ‘okay, my job’s done’ and we still had about another sixteenth of a mile to go so we’ll revisit that. It’s hard to change things off a win but boy, oh boy it was too close.”

* Earlier on the card, Love and Pride ($5.80) was allowed to cruise uncontested through one lap around the main track en route to a 6 3/4-length victory in the $76,500 Proud Spell Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. Draw It was second by one length over stablemate My Assets.

The win was the second of four consecutive victories to begin the card for jockey John Velazquez, who went winless with his remaining five mounts.

Love and Pride, owned by Green Hills Farm and trained by Todd Pletcher, covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.26 and returned $5.80.