Nashoba's Key still undefeated

Updated: September 29, 2007, 7:48 PM ET
By Steve Andersen | Daily Racing Form

ARCADIA, Calif. -- Nashoba's Key is going to the Breeders' Cup as a perfect filly.

Saturday at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting, Nashoba's Key extended her unbeaten streak to seven with a hard-fought win over favored Citronnade in the $400,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes.

The Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon was Nashoba's Key's fifth consecutive stakes win, fourth straight win in a graded stakes, and first Grade 1 win on turf. The brilliant 4-year-old filly is scheduled to make her next start in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at 1 3/8 miles on turf at Monmouth Park on Oct. 27.

Ridden by Joe Talamo, Nashoba's Key ($5.40) ran 1 1/4 miles on turf in 1:59.73. Throughout the race, she was a pesky presence behind pacesetter Citronnade, the even-money favorite.

Talamo had Nashoba's Key a length behind Citronnade through a slow early pace of 24.04 and 48.31 seconds for the first half-mile. Nashoba's Key stayed within range of Citronnade on the backstretch and through the final turn. With a two-wide rally in early stretch, Nashoba's Key drew alongside Citronnade, took the lead in the final furlong, and won by three-quarters of a length.

"She has so much heart all you have to do is urge her," Talamo said. "I knew Citronnade was running easily, but Nashoba has such a big kick. Once she gets going, she's like a big train. The way she's been running is just unbelievable."

Citronnade, the winner of four graded stakes earlier this year, held second, finishing a nose in front of Black Mamba.

"That's a very good filly that beat us," said David Flores, who rode Citronnade. "I could feel she was right behind me the whole way. When I asked my filly to go, I was hoping to open up quick. Maybe I could have gotten away with it."

Memorette, Imagine, and Mauralakana competed the order of finish.

Nashoba's Key has earned $863,460 for owner-breeder Warren Williamson and trainer Carla Gaines. The Yellow Ribbon was her first start on turf since she won the Fran's Valentine Stakes for statebreds at Hollywood Park in April.

Oak Leaf: 'Cry and Catch' by a nose
Cry and Catch Me ($4.80), making her stakes debut, won the $250,000 Oak Leaf Stakes for 2-year-old fillies.

Ridden by Mike Smith, Cry and Catch Me was always near the front, and held off a late threat from 5-1 Izarra to win the Grade 1 Oak Leaf by a nose. Owned by Stetson Land and Cattle and trained by Bob Baffert, Cry and Catch Me ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.91.

Cry and Catch Me raced near the front throughout, tracking The Golden Noodle through early fractions of 23.03 and 46.55 seconds before taking the lead with a half-mile remaining. She fought off a threat from Gentle Audrey and Tasha's Miracle before being challenged by Izarra.

Runforthemoneybaby, a 37-1 outsider, finished third in the field of 10.

Oak Tree at Santa Anita, 3rd Race - September 29, 2007

$400,000 Yellow Ribbon (G1)
PgmHorseWinPlaceShow
2Nashoba's Key5.402.802.40
6Citronnade2.402.10
5Black Mamba (NZ)2.60
$1 Exacta (2-6) Paid $5.00, $1 Trifecta (2-6-5) Paid $19.70

Oak Tree at Santa Anita, 7th Race - September 29, 2007

$244,000 Oak Leaf S. (G1)
PgmHorseWinPlaceShow
5Cry and Catch Me4.803.202.80
9Izarra5.604.20
6Runforthemoneybaby9.00
$1 Exacta (5-9) Paid $13.00, $1 Trifecta (5-9-6) Paid $232.70, $1 Superfecta (5-9-6-7) Paid $2,151.10