Horse Racing

The tiger queen holds to win the coronation trophy

At the end of the 11th run of the Coronation Cup $150,000 at Racecourse Saratoga July 15, Coach Jonathan Thomas is confident of his speed Tiger Queen will win the extended 5 1/2 race on Mellon Lawn.

He was right. Daughter of Classic Empire stop Arnmore Thoroughbreds’ poppies half the length.

The victory left Empress Tigress, owned by Augustin Stable, undefeated in its opening two matches. She broke her maiden at Woodbine Racetrack on synthetic surfaces May 22.

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The complexion of the Crowning Cup changed dramatically when coach Wesley Ward headed to win 2-1 Twilight Sparkle winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2T) last November.

Thomas said: “The scratch was definitely reinforced in there. “Someone as dirty as the upcoming Twilight Gleaming makes the decision to stay easier.”

It’s also no shame that Empress Tigress is at the top of her game.

“She’s been training well,” Thomas said. “And you only get these opportunities so many times, so you have to take advantage of them.”

Dismissed by Hall of Famer John Velazquez, Empress Tigress was third choice in the eight-horse field, finishing 7-2. She led in the pole quarter and built a 3 1/2 lead in the long stretch and prepared for the challenge of Poppy Flower, daughter of meadow and racing driver Jose Ortiz.

Empress Tigress paid $9.20 and the final time was 1:01.70.

Ortiz had a nervous moment at the start of the race. He said Poppies heard a sound and hit at the gate.

“She tried to walk forward and I hit my (right) knee against the door,” Ortiz said. “It hurt for a good minute and a half, but I’m fine.”

Derrynane came in third for jockeys Joel Rosario and Christophe Clement and was followed home Static fire , Artos , Lady Scarlet , Mysterious eyes and Sweet Solare . Two other horses—Benbang and Marissa’s Lady —Also scratched.

Video: S. (BT) Crowning Cup

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