Constellation romped in the $30,000 City of Phoenix Stakes and Kaabraaj followed suit in winning the $30,000 Luke Kruytbosch Stakes Saturday at Turf Paradise.
The tip off with Constellation was listed in the program as the 3-year-old filly is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, a trainer who competes and wins in Grade 1 competition. The second tip off was the nearly $60,000 bet to show on the filly.
Constellation ($2.60) was cross-country-ing from New York’s Aqueduct to the trainer’s home base in California. Given that the filly, an $800,000 2-year-old purchase at the Ocala Sales, had not raced since March, the City of Phoenix Stakes set up as an easy comeback for her seven-month freshner and her first start and win against older company.
Ridden by David Flores (substituting for Alex Solis), Constellation allowed BCZ Middleton to set the early pace, and then pulled away from that one without breaking a sweat to win by 5 ¼ lengths. BCZ Middleton held the place with Queen Kate finishing third in the field of six fillies and mares.
Owned by LNJ Foxwoods, Constellation covered the six furlongs in 1:09.52 for her fourth victory in seven efforts and earnings of $299,464.
The Luke Kruytbosch
Kaabraaj and Eswan Flores followed a nearly identical race pattern to victory as Constellation by tracking a pace setter, in this case Rockin Home, and then with little effort slipped away to a 6 ¼ length victory. Storm Power finished third in the field of six older horses.
Owned by Warlock Stables and trained by Jeff Metz, Kaabraaj ($4.20) raced the 6 furlongs in 1:08.58 to capture his sixth victory in 19 outings. The 4-year-old Kaabraaj now has earnings of $135,620.