ELMONT, N.Y. — Caravel’s connections had designs on a trip to Royal Ascot when they returned the mare to training this year, but ultimately decided the logistics of shipping overseas to that upcoming meet were too big a question mark. But even without adding a trip to the Royal Meeting to her resume, Caravel proved she is unquestionably the queen of American turf sprinters, winning the Grade 1, $400,000 Jaipur Stakes on Saturday on the Belmont Park turf.

“The owners called an audible, and I was totally good with it,” said Brad Cox, who trains Caravel for Qatar Racing, Marc Detampel, and Madaket Stables.

This was the fifth straight victory for Caravel — three of them graded stakes against males — and the mare’s 13th career stakes win overall. The Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Mizzen Mast captured last fall’s Grade 3 Franklin County at Keeneland before winning the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint on the same course. This year, she has won, in succession, the Grade 2 Shakertown at Keeneland, the Unbridled Sidney at Churchill Downs, and now, the Jaipur.

“She’s just been spot-on,” Cox said of her current form.

Favored Caravel ($7.80), with Tyler Gaffalione in the irons, was never far back, tracking the pacesetter Nothing Better, while cutting the corner into the stretch through the opening half in 44.80 seconds. She shook clear of that foe and drove through the stretch in an uncomplicated fashion. Casa Creed, two-time defending winner of the Jaipur, uncorked his customary late run while clear on the outside but couldn’t sufficiently eat into Caravel’s margin. At the wire, the mare was three-quarters of a length in front, and finished the six furlongs on the firm turf in 1:07.93, earning a 102 Beyer Speed Figure.

Big Invasion ran on late to edge Casa Creed by a neck for second.

They were followed, in order in the full field, by Dr Zempf, Nothing Better, Ice Chocolat, Arrest Me Red, Front Run the Fed, Yes and Yes, Thin White Duke, Coppola, Air Force Red, Go Bears Go, and Surprise Boss.

The Jaipur was a Win and You’re In toward the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, set for Nov. 4 at Santa Anita — Caravel’s long-range goal for a defense of her victory.

Cover Photo Credit to Barbara Livingston

Original source credited to drf.com

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