Spendarella improves to 3-for-3 in Appalachian

Saturday, April 9th, 2022

Spendarella stays unbeaten in Saturday’s Grade 2 Appalachian at Keeneland. Keeneland/Coady Photography

Different setup and different track, but the same result for Spendarella in the Grade 2 Appalachian Stakes presented by Japan Racing Association Saturday at Keeneland Race Course.

Gainesway Stable’s homebred daughter of Karakontie improved to 3-for-3 in the 1-mile Appalachian for 3-year-old fillies on the grass, her second straight graded stakes victory, and all after not starting her career until early February.

“She makes me look smart,” winning trainer Graham Motion said after Tyler Gaffalione rode Spendarella to a 1 3/4-length victory over Dolce Zel over the course labeled good.

Spendarella won the $308,950 Appalachian five weeks after her victory in the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride at Gulfstream Park. She won that 1-mile stakes all the way on the lead, by 1 1/2 lengths under Jose Ortiz. Gaffalione took the assignment Saturday and Spendarella looked like she might enjoy a similar trip breaking from post three in the Appalachian.

Spendarella broke on top in the field of eight and took command past the finish post the first time before Southern California shipper Glenall and jockey Julien Leparoux slipped through the inside to take the lead before the quarter-mile split in :24.50.

Spendarella relaxed in second and Gaffalione was content to let Glenall lead up the backstretch.

“She was going into the first turn very comfortably,” Gaffalione said. “She was in a great rhythm, and that other horse coming up inside didn’t bother her at all. She relaxed beautifully and had some turn of foot.”

Glenall led by about three-quarters of a length from Spendarella through the opening half-mile in :49.11 with Motion’s other entrant, Ouraika, trying to keep up to the outside. Ouraika launched a bid on the far turn but Spendarella did the same at the midpoint of the bend before taking over approaching the stretch.

Spendarella opened up in the lane while Dolce Zel, Skims and Kneesnhips mounted belated runs of their own that couldn’t match the winner. Dolce Zel finished three-quarters of a length clear of Skims at the finish, with another 2 1/4 back to Kneesnhips. Spendarella won in 1:37.41.

The victory was worth $179,025 for Spendarella’s connections and improved her bankroll to $283,675.

“She’s made me look good,” Motion said. “She just does everything so easily. She’s such a professional, she’s a fighter – she obviously loves it.”

Bred Antony Beck’s Gainesway Thoroughbreds LTD and foaled at Sequel Stallions NY in Hudson, Spendarella races in Beck’s brown and white Gainesway colors. Offered late in the 2020 Keeneland September yearling sale as Hip 3161, Spendarella was reported sold for $220,000 to Ballyfair Bloodstock out of the Gainesway consignment. She’s out of the winning Unusual Heat mare Spanish Bunny, the dam of Grade 1 American Oaks and Grade 2 Honeymoon winner Spanish Queen.



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