Milton, ON – Caviart Ally will take aim at ending Shartin N’s rule over the older pacing mare division when the two again spar in the C$330,000 Roses Are Red Final on Pepsi North America Cup night (June 15) at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
“We’re going to take her on,” said Brett Pelling, who started training Caviart Ally after her original trainer Noel Daley returned home to Australia. “It’ll be interesting…when they’re away from home, some things are out of your control. She’s up there, I’m down here. We know she was okay last week; the girl taking her for me does a beautiful job.
“But you know sometimes the trip away from home wakes them up as well. They’re out of their surroundings, they get a bit more hyped up about things; everything’s new. Even like an older horse like that might set in another little wake-up call for her…maybe an improvement, who knows.”
Caviart Ally has enjoyed her time at Mohawk Park, as the best mile of her career came in an elimination for the Milton Stakes in September. Gunning to the front, she paced a 1:48.3 and cruised to a 1:51.2 victory in the final.
“They [shipped her] back between [the elim and the final] when they did that [in the Milton],” Pelling said. “And I think she was obviously a bit tired in the final. I mean shipping all the way up there and then all the way back and back up again, that’s three really long ship in an eight- or nine-day period. That’s a big scope and I never really wanted to do that to her.”
After turning out at Caviart Farms at the end of last season, Caviart Ally shipped to Brett Pelling. She’s among a few horses bringing the champion trainer back to the top ranks since he returned from Australia in 2017.
“One of the things that we’ve done differently to see if it would work or not is to teach her to race other horses more than race the racetrack,” Pelling said. “Put the fear of God in them; exhibit [their] speed [and] just basically racing the racetrack instead of like now, where if [she’s] balling along up front and someone pulls from the four or five hole…she sees them; she’s on it.
“She’s become much more tractable in her races and—whether its positive or negative—she still has blazing speed. And it seems to be working; she seems a lot kinder in her races now. Andy [McCarthy] likes her this way and I think it’s all going along well.”
Caviart Ally returned to the races on April 30 at Pocono Downs, finishing second in a top-condition pace. She then won two straight at The Meadowlands, one of which she paced a 1:49.2 mile with a :25.4 final quarter.
Caviart Ally’s first stakes engagement of the year was the $100,000 Betsy Ross Invitational at Harrah’s Philadelphia. Driver McCarthy launched her to the front from the inside and set a quick pace. She almost had Shartin N beat, but Tim Tetrick managed to not get boxed inside by sliding off the pylons past the half and charging towards Caviart Ally to eventually get a nose up at the finish.
“Andy and I come from the same part of the world, and the bottom line is if you draw inside and protect position, you have every right to protect your position,” Pelling said. “Too many times these guys think the racetrack is theirs. [So with] Timmy thinking he’s going to cruise to the front…well now why’s that got to happen?
“Like I know a lot of people don’t really realize this, but with where Andy’s from and where I’m from, if you have the inside and just basically turn one loose, you get a fine and a penalty for that. You’re there to protect your position at all times… if you get out sped, it’s a different story.”
Pelling felt that had Tetrick waited slightly longer to pull, Caviart Ally would’ve been turned loose by McCarthy moments later and may have gone the distance.
“Timmy sort of came out [at] full gas at a place where you don’t expect someone to come and she had to change gears like right down. It was a good race; I enjoyed it.”
Opportunity could arise for one of the other eight mares in Saturday’s Roses Are Red if a Caviart Ally versus Shartin N battle arises.
“Getting out of there in :25.2, none of the others were involved,” said Pelling. “Going up the back in :26, :26.1 (whatever it was), they’re not involved. And yet at the wire, because they had gone so hard, they were coming.
“On a bigger track, that’s why you see upsets in there. I think [Andy and Timmy] raced [it] as if it were a two-horse race, but those other mares can go.”
Shartin N and Caviart Ally faced off again last week in the C$35,000 Roses Are Red prep, where Shartin N set the pace and Caviart Ally sat the pocket while throwing her head left into the stretch before ultimately finishing second in the 1:48.4 mile.
“She always travels a little bit on the left line,” Pelling said. “We kind of think she was really looking to bully her way out of the hole. Two races before when she raced at the Meadowlands, where she was following Youaremycandygirl, she pulled herself out and went…and kind of looked like she was trying to do the same thing the other night.”
Caviart Ally starts inside of Shartin N this week, going from post two as the 7/2 second choice on the morning line. Shartin N starts from post-four as the 4/5 morning-line favorite with Youaremycandygirl starting between them in post-three.
“This week she is going to have a pair of blinkers on so she can’t look back,” Pelling said. “Hopefully she’s more forward focused instead of her getting to do what she wants. And she’s determined. She’s a big mare, gets her own way and has a big personality.”