News and STORIES

Carressa Scores Megahertz In Turf And Stakes Debut

Author: Don Mckee
Published: Wednesday January 22, 2020
Carressa took the $101,000 Megahertz Stakes (G3T) Monday at Santa Anita Park in what was her turf and stakes debut. Jockey Victor Espinoza was able to gain control after she pulled early, and they took over in the stretch to win. 

Carressa is a 4-year-old Uncle Mo filly trained by John Shirreffs. She came into the one-mile grass feature on Monday after an 8 1/4-length win, the same distance as the Megahertz. That was in a Nov. 22 allowance optional claiming race at Del Mar.

"I'm really thrilled with her, the way she's progressed and the way she ran today," Shirreffs said. "I thought the most important thing was when Victor was able to control her there going into the first turn. After that, she settled and really ran well."

Fourth Spot Early

Carressa broke from the rail and moved into the fourth spot early. As she kept to the outside, Keeper Ofthe Stars and Brill fought for the lead. Keeper Ofthe Stars stayed in first place through the first quarter-mile of :23.61. Brill eventually moved ahead by 1 1/2 lengths to run a half in :46.83.

With Brill in the lead, Carressa was three deep as the field moved into the second turn. At that point, she decided to take a shot on the outside of the leader, and Brill's lead was reduced to a head as three-quarters went in 1:11/35.

Carressa made space and ran in the stretch before moving ahead. Super Patriot and La Sardane, in the back of the field, made an effort to move up as well. Carressa was able to hold on and win by three-quarters of a length. She finished the mile in 1:34.64 on firm turf and paid $10.20 to win.

"We didn't know if she'd handle the turf, so I had two plans," Espinoza said. "If she broke sharp, I'd go to the lead, but she kind of missed the break, so we sat behind. I wanted to keep her covered up going into the first turn because she was pulling pretty hard. 

"When we turned up the backstretch, I moved her out and dropped my hands, and she relaxed. At that point, I knew she was handling the turf, and I really wasn't worried about anyone else."

Super Patriot came in second a neck ahead of La Sardane. The order was finished by Streak of Luck, Take These Chains, Keeper Ofthe Stars, and Brill.

Carressa's Connections

Carressa is campaigned by Mercedes Stables, West Point Thoroughbreds, Scott Dilworth, Dorothy and David Ingordo, and Steve Mooney. West Point Thoroughbreds and Vosburgh purchased Carressa for $125,000 from Taylor Made Sales Agency at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

She has three wins and a second in six starts, and her earnings are at $139,302.

"Now she can run on the dirt or the turf, so they have many races to run," Espinoza said. "She's been impressive, and she is on her game. When a horse is getting good and starts winning, it's hard to get beat. They don't come very often like Carressa that can run on both surfaces."

The bay filly was bred in Kentucky by Michael Stinson, and she is out of the multiple stakes winner Iplaytricks, by Desert God. Carressa is the first foal out of Iplaytricks, a 3-year-old American Pharoah filly and a 2-year-old California Chrome colt.