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 â€˜TDN Rising Starâ€™-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 Ortizâ€™s righty whip outside the eighth pole and coasted home 6 3/4 lengths to the good of $750,000 firster Tapella (Tapit).
â€œSheâ€™s a filly weâ€™ve always thought a lot of,â€? WinStar president and CEO Elliott Walden told TDN. â€œSheâ€™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. Weâ€™ve looked forward to getting her back to the races.â€?
Walden also said that the reason for Covenantâ€™s 141-day layoff after her promising debut was â€œa little filling in an ankle,â€? which brought her back to the farm for the spring.
â€œWe just took the conservative approach with her,â€? he offered. â€œX-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.â€?
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.