Soloshot keeps things rolling in Cupecoy’s Joy

Friday, June 14th, 2024

Soloshot, between rivals in deep stretch, gets up in time to win Cupecoy’s Joy division of the NYSS Friday at Belmont at the Big A. Susie Raisher/NYRA Photo.

What a week for the stallions and the team at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds.

Everything started Saturday when Book’em Danno, a son of McMahon of Saratoga’s new stallion Bucchero, won the Grade 1 Woody Stephens on the Belmont Stakes Day undercard.

The run continued Thursday when juveniles bred, foaled and raised at the farm sold for six figures at the OBS June sale.

Then it hit a crescendo when Soloshot got up in time to win Friday’s $150,000 Cupecoy’s Joy division of the New York Stallion Series Stakes at Belmont at the Big A. The 3-year-old daughter of Solomini, a son of Curlin who stands at McMahon of Saratoga in Saratoga Springs, won the 6-furlong Cupecoy’s Joy by a nose from the Central Banker filly Geopolitics with Being Betty third and Sohana fourth. The Cupecoy’s Joy result gave McMahon a 1-2-4 finish the stakes for 3-year-old fillies eligible for the Stallion Stakes.

“I expected her to run big, but I was nervous going into the race, because you know you get nervous before a big race,” said winning trainer Lolita Shivmangal, winning her fist stakes. “I was very confident in her, and having Irad on, that she was going to run big, and she did it. I’m very proud of that little filly. Very, very proud of her.”

Bred by and foaled at Rhapsody Farm in Plymouth and winner of the Lady Finger Stakes last season at Finger Lakes, Soloshot was claimed for $32,000 March 3 at Aqueduct.

She finished seventh in her first start for new connections – Shivmangal and owners Travis and Eddie Racing Stable – in the March 17 East View before a runner-up effort in an open allowance race in on the turf late April at Aqueduct.

Soloshot finished fourth, beaten just 4 lengths in a similar state-bred turf sprint May 24 at Aqueduct, heading into the 6-furlong Cupecoy’s Joy.

“It was the mom’s breeding after we claimed,” Shivmangal said. “We did the research and we saw the mother ran four lifetime races and three were on the turf, and she placed in every one, so we went to the turf.”

Soloshot came through in her return to the main track. Sent off as the 9-5 second choice in the field of eight, Soloshot raced fourth early under Irad Ortiz Jr. while 7-5 favorite Geopolitics carved out quick splits of :21.93 and :45.19. Still third behind Geopolitics and Being Betty turning for home, Soloshot came off the inside in the lane and got close inside the final furlong.

Soloshot engaged between the two leaders inside the final sixteenth and edged past Geopolitics late to win by a bob at the finish. Soloshot won in 1:09.03 on the firm turf.

“Beautiful trip,” Ortiz said. “We had a perfect trip to be honest. I was right behind [Geopolitics] and she carried me all the way to the wire. I saved all the ground. The horse helped me because she was there when I asked her. She deserves a lot of credit – she fought and she deserved the win.

“She responded well and has been running tough races – :44, :43, fighting [for] the lead. I mean, she’s still running at the end and gives something to the rider. I was thinking that she probably doesn’t need to be on the lead to get the ‘W.’ We came out looking for the lead, but we can’t make it, so I went to Plan B and it worked out good.”

Soloshot is the third foal out of the stakes-placed Sweet Queen. A half-sister to Grade 3 winner Queen of the Castle, Sweet Queen is the dam of the four-time winning and $193,261-earning Practical Joke New York-bred filly Banterra.

Rhapsody Farm purchased Sweet Queen, carrying Banterra in utero, for $52,000 at the 2020 Keeneland January horses of all ages sale. Sweet Queen is also the dam of a 2-year-old full sister to Soloshot named Seaside Princess that sold for $27,000 at the 2022 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga fall mixed sale and $25,000 at the 2023 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale.

Central Banker, a 14-year-old son of Speightstown, stands for $7,500 at McMahon of Saratoga. The leader of the New York general sire list from 2021 to 2023, he currently ranks second on the New York general sire list with more than $1.7 million in progeny earnings and only behind fellow McMahon of Saratoga stallion Bucchero.

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