Lanerie: “I felt like I had an angel on my back the last eighth of a mile.”
By J.J. Hysell
Corey Lanerie’s victory aboard Fiftyshadesofgold in the Debutante Stakes Saturday – an impressive 8-length romp – was an emotional win for the jockey.
Lanerie’s uncle, Steve, passed away on Friday, and Lanerie said he dedicated the win aboard the promising 2-year-old filly to his departed relative.
“I felt like I had an angel on my back the last eighth of a mile,” Lanerie said.
Fiftyshadesofgold, who clicked down to favoritism over Teardrop just before the gates opened, went head-to-head with the speedy More Than Beauty through swift early fractions of :21.37 and :45.14 before drawing off and finishing the six furlongs in 1:10.63.
More Than Beauty held on for second and Del Mar Holiday was third. Teardrop, rank in the early stages of the race, faded to seventh.
“I think this filly has still got a lot to learn,” said Teardrop’s jockey, Rosie Napravnik. “She’s a Tapit, so she’s wired tight.”
The Texas-bred daughter of My Golden Song, trained by Bret Calhoun for owner Clarence Sharbauer, was coming in off a rousing 10-length debut win against statebreds at Lone Star Park.
“I thought it was a monster effort,” Calhoun said. “She beat those horses pretty handily and I know there were some nice horses in there.”
Calhoun said no plans have been made for Fiftyshadesofgold’s next start, but he will try to keep the filly and another future star from his barn – Bahnah – apart. Bahnah is likely headed to Saratoga. Bahnah, owned by Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch, won her debut at Churchill Downs with Lanerie on June 6.
Lanerie, who also competed in the mechanical bull contest for charity at Downs After Dark Saturday, said the thought of not riding never passed his mind, because of his uncle’s wishes.
“My uncle would have kicked me in the butt if I wouldn’t have ridden,” he said. “He would want us to be happy and to live and joke and remember the good memories.”