Twirling Candy's Evvie Jets Upsets Ballston Spa at 29-1

Evvie Jets | Sarah Andrew


She may not have been the longest shot on the board–that title fell to intent-on-the-lead pacesetter and 55-1 shot Sister Bridget (Ire) (Galileo Gold {GB})–but Mertkan Kantarmaci's 29-1 trainee Evvie Jets (m, 5, Twirling Candy–Natchez Trace, by Consolidator) was still an afterthought in the public eye's at 29-1 behind a trio of Chad Brown entrants and one shipped stateside by Ireland's Joseph O'Brien in Saratoga's GII Mohegan Sun Ballston Spa S. Thursday. Longshot or not, Evvie Jets set the Spa lawn on its ear with a bold win up the rail as MGSW & MGISP Fluffy Socks (Slumber {GB}) and Ascot GSW Jumbly (GB) (Gleneagles {Ire}) followed in a tight finish.

Evvie Jets broke like a jet when the gates flew, but stepped aside as Sister Bridget and the accomplished Technical Analysis (Ire) (Kingman {GB})–a 'TDN Rising Star', MGSW, and MGISP–fought for the lead. Those two pulled more than a half dozen lengths clear of the field with Sister Bridget getting the first fractions of :23.50 and :48.67 as Technical Analysis backed off. As the field closed in and swarmed the two leaders in the stretch, Evvie Jets snuck up the inside from fifth under Manny Franco and collared Technical Analysis, who had taken over from a tiring Sister Bridget as MGSW Gam's Mission (Noble Mission {GB}) attacked from the outside. It looked to be anyone's race a sixteenth from home, but Evvie Jets kept her head in front, despite being on her wrong lead, as Fluffy Socks and Jumbly closed in. Less than a length and a half covered the first seven under the wire in a wild blanket finish. Final time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1:43.06, a new course record.

Franco picked up the ride on Evvie Jets from Luis Saez, who was injured Wednesday and is out indefinitely.

“Manny [Franco] did the right thing–just save and save and our plan was only stick to the rail, and he did–and save in the second turn also,” said Kantarmaci. “She just made the stretch run today after the hot pace. She can do that. She showed that a long time ago already, but she ends up in fights in the slower pace. Today was the day for her to close.”

The winning trainer continued: “Since the first day, we took care of her like a stakes horse because I knew she was going to come to that level, but we wanted to go step by step with her. Now, of course, she's extra special after this race. Unbelievable she did that today.”

A winner two back of Belmont's July 2 Perfect Sting S. over Ballston Spa 6-5 favorite Technical Analysis, Evvie Jets was winning the second graded race of her career following a 2022 win in the GIII Noble Damsel S. She'd kicked off her 2023 campaign Apr. 16 at Aqueduct with a win in the Plenty of Grace S. and was last seen Aug. 2 in defeat to Technical Analysis in the De La Rose S. Originally trained by Anthony Dutrow until claimed for $80,000 in 2021, Evvie Jets has run exclusively in stakes company for the past 11 months and also placed in the GIII Athenia S. last fall.


Pedigree Notes:

Evvie Jets is one of 18 graded winners for Lane's End sire Twirling Candy, a son of fellow Lane's End stallion Candy Ride (Arg). With 43 black-type winners bred in the Northern Hemisphere and eight Grade I winners spread from coast to coast, Twirling Candy last had a graded winner at the Spa in 2018 with GII Honorable Miss H. scorer Finley'sluckycharm. Although Evvie Jets is his only stakes winner out of a Consolidator mare, Twirling Candy has a number of his top stakes winners out of mares by Consolidator's extended Storm Cat sire line. Consolidator himself was exported to stand in the Philippines ahead of the 2012 season and has 10 stakes winners out of his daughters.

From the family of MGISW and $1.85-million Keeneland broodmare Kalookan Queen (Lost Code), the Ballston Spa winner's dam was unraced and is, like her daughter, a Farfellow Farms-bred. Natchez Trace's 2-year-old colt by Catalina Cruiser was a $240,000 OBS March juvenile and has since been sent to Japan after being purchased by Katsumi Yoshida. With no foals in the meantime, Natchez Trace was bred to Airdrie's Upstart for next term.

Thursday, Saratoga
MOHEGAN SUN BALLSTON SPA S.-GII, $300,000, Saratoga, 8-24, 4yo/up, f/m, 1 1/16mT, 1:43.06 (NCR), fm.
1–EVVIE JETS, 120, m, 5, by Twirling Candy
                1st Dam: Natchez Trace, by Consolidator
                2nd Dam: Crystal Cream, by Secretariat
                3rd Dam: Clear Copy, by Copy Chief
($75,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP). O-The Estate of Robert J. Amendola;
B-Farfellow Farms Ltd. (KY); T-Mertkan Kantarmaci; J-Manuel
Franco. $165,000. Lifetime Record: 22-7-6-2, $698,680. *1/2
to Forever Mo (Uncle Mo), MSP, $248,315. Werk Nick Rating:
A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
Free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Fluffy Socks, 122, m, 5, Slumber (GB)–Breakfast Time, by
Kitten's Joy. O/B-Head Of Plains Partners (KY); T-Chad C.
Brown. $60,000.
3–Jumbly (GB), 120, f, 4, Gleneagles (Ire)–Thistle Bird (GB), by
Selkirk. (1,250,000gns 3yo '22 TATMA). O-Doreen Tabor;
B-Emily Rothschild (GB); T-Joseph Patrick O'Brien. $36,000.
Margins: HD, HF, NK. Odds: 29.25, 6.30, 5.60.
Also Ran: Gam's Mission, Technical Analysis (Ire), Consumer Spending, Surprisingly, Sister Bridget (Ire). Scratched: Into Happiness, Speak of the Devil (Fr).
Click for the chart or the PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

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