July 24, 2017 - Saratoga, Race 5, Msw, USD $83,000, 6F
Covenant, F, 3, 2014 by Speightstown
1st Dam: Flaming Heart (GSP, $245,961), by Touch Gold
2nd Dam: Hot Lear, by Lear Fan
3rd Dam: Medicine Woman, by Dr. Blum
Owner: WinStar Farm, LLC
Breeder: WinStar Farm, LLC (KY)
Trainer: William I. Mott
Covenant, second to subsequent GII Gulfstream Oaks heroine, GI Acorn S. runner-up and troubled GI CCA Oaks third finisher Salty (Quality Road) after setting a fast pace in her March debut, returned from a layoff, broke like a shot and never gave anyone a chance in a ‘TDN Rising Star’-earning graduation at Saratoga.
Getting an 86 Beyer for her unveiling at Gulfstream Mar. 5, the WinStar Farm homebred returned here with a sharp worktab, capped off by a bullet half-mile breeze in :47 2/5 (1/54) on the Oklahoma training track July 14, and took all the play to be 3-4 at the off. Catching a flier out of the gate, Covenant quickly opened up several lengths before allowing the field to catch up some past a :23.16 quarter. Inching away in hand nearing the straightaway, she kicked clear after passing a :47.27 half, accelerated when given a few cracks of Jose Ortiz’s righty whip outside the eighth pole and coasted home 6 3/4 lengths to the good of $750,000 firster Tapella (Tapit).
“She’s a filly we’ve always thought a lot of,” WinStar president and CEO Elliott Walden told TDN. “She’s extremely well-balanced, very attractive. She trained very well before her first start and the race has very good form in it with Salty beating her. We’ve looked forward to getting her back to the races.”
Walden also said that the reason for Covenant’s 141-day layoff after her promising debut was “a little filling in an ankle,” which brought her back to the farm for the spring.
“We just took the conservative approach with her,” he offered. “X-rays were good, so we rehabbed her a little bit and then sent her back to Bill with the anticipation to get her here to Saratoga.”
The winner is a half to Commissioner (A.P. Indy), MGSW & GISP, $962,237; and Laugh Track (Distorted Humor), GSW & GISP, $598,014. She has a juvenile half-brother by Bernardini named Mt. Vernon and a yearling Tapit half-brother. Her dam was bred to Carpe Diem this spring.