by Ryan Martin
Peter Brant’s My Sister Nat notched her first North American victory in a graded stakes race named after her owner’s 1979 Champion Older Mare when taking the 21st running of the Grade 3, $150,000 Waya going 1 ½ miles over the inner turf at Saratoga Race Course.
Trained by Chad Brown, My Sister Nat was placed in three of her five starts since moving to the United States and arrived at the Waya off a runner-up finish to Mean Mary in the Grade 2 New York on June 27 at Belmont Park.
“It’s definitely special,” Brown said of winning the Waya for Brant. “It’s a race we’ve been targeting since he got back in the game. She just went into the Hall of Fame last year, the great Waya. That was really great to win this.”
My Sister Nat broke a touch slow out of the gate under jockey Jose Ortiz, and settled last of the six runners along the rail as stablemate and last year’s Waya victor Fools Gold took the field into the first turn through an opening quarter-mile is 25.46 seconds.
As the tightly packed field made their way into the clubhouse turn through a half-mile in 50.72, Fools Gold maintained her one-length advantage while My Sister Nat moved up into fifth and remained on even terms with Olympic Games down the backstretch.
Ortiz angled My Sister Nat out two paths heading into the far turn and gave his mare her cue approaching the quarter-pole as Fools Gold continued to command the pace. My Sister Nat found herself on even terms with favorite Mrs. Sippy who launched her bid to her inside. Just outside the sixteenth-pole, My Sister Nat put a head in front and prevailed by a neck over Mrs. Sippy in a final time of 2:30.26 over a firm turf. Fools Gold finished another 1 1/4 lengths back in third.
Beau Belle, Olympic Games and Quiet Dignity completed the order of finish. Main track only entrant Another Broad was scratched.
“We saved ground in the first two turns and in the third turn I started looking for a place to go,” said Ortiz. “Chad always tells me in three-turn races to save ground in two and in the third do whatever you want. I started working my way out and I’m glad it worked out.”
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