08/12/2013 2:05PM

Saratoga: Jewel of a Cat rallies to win Coronation Cup

Barbara D. Livingston
Jewel of a Cat and jockey Chris DeCarlo (left) get up in time for a half-length win in Monday's $98,000 Coronation Cup.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Jockey Chris DeCarlo should come to Saratoga more often.

Despite not having ridden here in 10 years, DeCarlo had little trouble finding the Saratoga winner’s circle after guiding Jewel of a Cat to a come-from-behind, upset victory over the odds-on Magical Moon in Monday’s $98,000 Coronation Cup.

DeCarlo, who is based during the summer at Monmouth Park, knows Jewel of a Cat well, having ridden her to two previous victories, including a score in the Stormy Blues Stakes at Pimlico in April.

On Monday, DeCarlo allowed the daughter of Wildcat Heir to settle well off a hotly contested early pace, with Magical Moon pressed on the lead by Lignite through an opening quarter in 21.37 seconds and half in 43.92.

Magical Moon edged well clear under jockey Joel Rosario once settling into the stretch, but DeCarlo had Jewel of the Cat rolling by then, the pair ultimately wearing down the favorite in late stretch for a half-length decision. Little Sandy rallied mildly to finish third in a scratch-reduced field of just five 3-year-old fillies.

Jewel of a Cat is trained by Ben Perkins Jr. for the partnership of J and J Stables and GSP Racing. She completed 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:01.81 over the firm turf and paid $27.20.

“She broke really sharp, and the two speed horses really ran away from me, so I knew they must be flying,” DeCarlo said. “I felt like I had a lot of horse underneath me, and when I saw nobody else really kicking on, I knew we had a really big shot.”

Perkins, who was saddling just his second starter of the meet, said he was all smiles when seeing the speed duel develop that included the favored Magical Moon.

“[Jewel of a Cat] kind of ran even in her last race, but she came out of it well, had a couple of good breezes, so we decided to try this spot,” said Perkins. “And I was really happy when I saw the fast pace.”