Cairo Sugar delivers 27-1 upset in Maddie May

Sunday, February 19th, 2023

Cairo Sugar and Andrew Wolfsont head to the finish 27-1 winners of Sunday’s Maddie May Stakes at Aqueduct. NYRA Photo.

Cairo Sugar went from favorite to outsider to stakes winner in Sunday’s $100,000 Maddie May for 3-year-old New York-bred fillies at Aqueduct.

AP Stable’s daughter of Cairo Prince landed her second straight win with her 27-1 upset of the 1-mile Maddie May, giving Parx Racing-based trainer Alan Bedard his first stakes winner on dirt and his first stakes winner in New York. Under Andrew Wolfsont, Cairo Sugar led from the start on the way to a 1 1/4-length win over even-money favorite and two-time stakes winner Les Bon Temps.

Cairo Sugar won the Maddie May off a 5-length victory in a 1-mile state-bred maiden at Aqueduct Jan. 19. She went to the post 6-5 that day, a far cry from her odds Sunday.

To complicate matters, Cairo Sugar sprung her left front shoe in the paddock before Bedard tacked her up. That led to a brief delay, and some anxious moments for her conditioner.

“I was very upset; I’ve never really had that happen before,” he said. “She actually stepped right on it and pulled it off. The blacksmith did a fantastic job getting it done. She wasn’t real easy about it.”

Cairo Sugar wasn’t easy on her five opponents in the Maddie May. The lone double-digit odds runner in the field of six, Cairo Sugar went to the front after breaking last, regrouping and led Luna Loca by a length through the opening quarter-mile in :23.56.

Les Bon Temps, winner of the Maid Of The Mist on Empire Showcase Day and Fifth Avenue division of the New York Stallion Series Stakes in her last two starts; and Sweetest Princess, returning to the New York-bred ranks after a fourth in the Busanda Stakes last time out, tracked the two leaders up the backstretch ahead of 2-1 second choice I’mhavingamoment and Starry Midnight.

Cairo Sugar continued on the lead through the half in :47.39 and 6 furlongs in 1:11.78, repelling a tepid rally from Luna Loca and later a wide run from Les Bon Temps approaching the stretch.

“I got into her because that was the game plan,” Wolfsont said. “I was hoping they would give me an easy lead, but I definitely wasn’t expecting that. Once I saw Jose Gomez [aboard Luna Loca] wasn’t committed to the lead, I figured I would just let her get comfortable a length in front. She took off a little faster than I was expecting, so I eased her back a little bit and got her in a nice and relaxed rhythm.”

Wolfsont said Cairo Sugar had “plenty left in the tank” late in the race and they held a 1-length lead in midstretch. Cairo Sugar hung tough inside the final sixteenth to hold off Les Bon Temps. Sweetest Princess finished another 1 3/4 lengths back in third with I’mhavingamoment fourth. Cairo Sugar won in 1:38.44 over the fast track.

“I was just hoping they wouldn’t come to me too soon because I had no idea how well she was going to run down the whole lane,” Wolfsont said. “She already went pretty quick early, but I was pleasantly surprised.”

Cairo Sugar improved to 2-for-6 with two seconds and third and boosted her earnings to $123,107.

Bred by and foaled at Peter Kazamias’ Kaz Hill Farm in Middletown, Cairo Sugar is out of the multiple Grade 1-winning Awesome Again mare Spun Sugar. AP Stable purchased the filly for $6,000 late in the second session of the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale.

Cairo Sugar made four starts at 2 – the first two for trainer Bruce Kravets at Penn National Race Course and the next for Bedard at Parx and Aqueduct. She finished a respective fourth, third and second twice in those races before her maiden win last month. Only one of those tries came around two turns in a 1-mile and 70-yard maiden race Nov. 29 at Parx. Bedard is hopeful Cairo Sugar will handle added distance going forward.

“Her breeding looks like she can go even longer,” he said. “Hopefully, even a mile and an eighth type of horse. The last time we ran against [I’mhavingamoment] we were second best, and that’s the day she was getting in and we thought a little more distance and not getting in she could go by. Today, she got it done.”

Cairo Sugar is one of 13 foals and eight winners out of Spun Sugar, who was purchased by Kasamias in foal to Street Sense for $20,000 at the 2016 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. The resulting foal, a New York-bred daughter of Wear My Ring, was a winner for Kazamias on the NYRA circuit. Spun Sugar’s next two foals – the now 4-year-old New York-bred Bank Heist colt Kaz Sugar Bank, most recently third in a Penn National allowance race Feb. 10, and Cairo Sugar – are winners and she’s also the dam of a 2-year-old New York-bred Leofric colt Sugar’s Last Hope.

Bred by Adena Springs and raced by Stronach Stables, Spun Sugar won six of 13 including the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan at 3 and Grade 1 Apple Blossom and Grade 1 Go for Wand at 4, with $929,171 in earnings. She sold in foal to A.P. Indy for $4.5 million at the 2007 Keeneland November sale.

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