Notes & Quotes From the Caress Stakes at Saratoga: Mominou

(Mominou wins the Carees Stakes at Saratoga / Photo by Susie Raisher & Courtesy of NYRA)

From the NYRA Media Team:

Sean Shay’s Mominou, racing for the first time in nine weeks, led from start to finish under jockey Kendrick Carmouche to spring a 29-1 upset of Sunday’s $200,000 Caress at Saratoga Race Course.

The eighth running of the 5 ½-furlong Caress for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up on the grass was the second of three stakes on a 13-race program.

Mominou’s first career stakes victory in five tries made Jimmy Toner the first trainer to win three editions of the Caress. Toner also captured back-to-back editions in 2014 with Free as a Bird and 2015 with Thieves Guild.

Jockey Kendrick Carmouche, rider of Mominou (1st)

“I worked this filly last week and she worked so great,” Carmouche said. “Jimmy (Toner, the trainer) gave me the option of how I want to ride her and I figured the best way we could win was to take the race to them out of the gate. We broke good and she never relented. She was ready the whole way.

“I brought my mom and dad up from Louisiana for this, so this is extra special,” he added. “I have to thank Mr. Toner and Mr. Shay for the opportunity. We’ve been pretty lucky over the years, and we got a great trip today.”

Trainer Jimmy Toner, Mominou:

“I initially looked at it and thought there’d be some speed in the race, which there was. But when I looked at it again, I said, ‘She could be the main speed.’ The only shot we were going to have was just to go for it,” Toner said. “When they turn into the lane, you always [say], ‘Here they come.’ But she had another gear and kicked in again. I was really proud of her.”

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds

More From The Pressbox Staff