One horse’s misfortune, though, is another’s glory, and even the most sentimentally-inclined could not avoid feeling happy for Borrowing Base and her connections on Sunday.
Borrowing Base is a New Yorker through and through; she was bred in New York, by Personal Flag, and her most recent twelve starts (and I surmise many more) came in New York, her last win at Saratoga in July. She’s trained by Pat Quick and was ridden yesterday by Javier Castellano, who rode her to her last victory.
She had some tense moments following the race, the subject of an inquiry, but her number was kept up, much to the delight of owner Lisa Aracri. Aracri is the now grown-up “little girl” of Daddie’s Girl’s Stable, who owns Borrowing Base, and it’s clear that she takes this namesake seriously. She flew up from Florida last night to see the race. “My parents are at a play, and my brothers are in Las Vegas, so someone had to be here to represent. I got a cheap flight yesterday and came up.”
“[Borrowing Base] always tries so hard, even when she doesn’t win. Even in the barn, she’s just terrific.”
A fan not only of her mare but of Castellano, Aracri said, “She loves this jockey—and who can blame her?”
The Ladies Handicap carried with it any number of great stories, and sure, I was rooting for Sweet Goodbye. But Aracri’s quiet joy in her mare’s win, her pride in her accomplishments, made this year’s farewell to the Ladies Handicap, in its 137th running, a little less bitter, and a little sweeter. Let’s hope that at some point in the future, another owner has a similar chance to celebrate.