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Saratoga: Prado steers Qushchi to victory in Waya Stakes
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Benefitting from a patient ride by Edgar Prado, Qushchi rallied strongly in the stretch to win Monday’s $100,000 Waya Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths at Saratoga.
Anjaz, who was boxed in along the inside in the stretch, managed to find room and get up for second by one length over Mystical Star. Angel Terrace was fourth, followed by Beijoca, Kissable, and Team.
The win was the first for Qushchi since Sept. 17, 2011. She had lost 16 straight starts, including all four since coming to the United States and trainer Graham Motion.
“I think she’s just been a little unlucky; she just got nailed at the wire at Churchill last time,” Motion said, referring to a head loss to Treasured Up in the Keertana Stakes on May 18. “She actually got interfered with by my other filly at Keeneland [in the Bewitch], so I thought she was a little unlucky that day. But that was vintage Edgar today. He waited as long as he could, and she ran a powerful race.”
Prado had Qushchi next-to-last for more than a mile in the Waya before guiding her four to five wide in the stretch. Despite the typical modest pace associated with marathon turf races, Qushchi closed strongly to get the win.
“I felt very comfortable going down the backside, like at the seven-eighths pole, when my filly was getting closer and closer very effortlessly,” Prado said. “At that point, I was very happy and saying, ‘Let me find a clear path, turn her loose, and see what I got.’ She kicked in pretty strong.”
Qushchi, a 5-year-old British-bred mare, covered the 1 1/2 miles in 2:27.21 and returned $10.40 as the fourth choice in the field of seven.
Motion said he might consider the Grade 3, $150,000 Glens Falls Stakes at 1 3/8 miles Sept. 2 for Qushchi’s next start.
There was a stewards’ inquiry into the stretch run focusing on fourth-place finisher Angel Terrace, who appeared to come over on Kissable, last year’s Waya winner. The stewards did not see sufficient evidence to change the order of finish.
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