Donna Veloce On Oaks Trail With Santa Ysabel Victory
After a pair of top-class seconds in Grade Is to end 2019, Donna Veloce (3f Uncle Mo x Coin Broker, by Montjeu) started 2020 with a bang when romping home in the Grade III Santa Ysabel.
Stumbling a step when breaking from the gate in the 1 1/16 mile race, Donna Veloce quickly recovered to run a few lengths off the leader in fourth. As the field neared the far turn, Flavien Prat allowed his filly to move closer to the leader and she took full advantage. She was quickly neck-and-neck with two other leaders and started pulling away as they hit the stretch.
Prat’s only job in the stretch was to stay on the filly as she romped home under a confident hand ride to win by 4¼ lengths for trainer Simon Callaghan. The victory earned her 50 points toward the Kentucky Oaks, almost assuring her a spot in the race on the first Friday in May.
“I thought it was a perfect race,” Callaghan told Thoroughbred Daily News. “We didn’t plan to take back like that. I thought she would be the fastest filly, but Flavien went to plan B, letting them go when she didn’t break good. She got a good schooling, got around them and I think that is going to serve her to good effect in the future. It’s definitely a nice thing to have up your sleeve because, particularly in the Oaks, we go that distance and it’s a rough race with a big field. It’s nice to know that you can take back and she’ll relax well.”
Owned by Kaleem Sha, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith, the filly was a $450,000 Keeneland September yearling before selling for $800,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale to KSI from the Hartley/DeRenzo consignment last year.
Bred by the Coin Broker syndicate, Donna Veloce is the second winner from two foals out of Coin Broker, who is a half-sister to Listed winner Great War Eagle and the daughter of Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Cash Run. Cash Run herself is a half-sister to Grade I winner Forestry and out of Grade I winner Shared Interest. Cash Run was one of a tremendous book of mares to visit Triple Crown winner Justify in 2019.
It was a top weekend for Uncle Mo with the 2015 Champion Freshman sire also siring Grade II Tampa Bay Derby winner King Guillermo, who looks to head to Louisville for the Kentucky Derby in May.