On Saturday morning on the backstretch at Saratoga Race Course, July 24, Maddie Rowland held the shank as trainer Elizabeth Merryman bathed her filly Caravel. The gray/roan filly extended her neck straight up, turned her head in profile, and posed.
“She knows when the camera is out,” said Rowland. “It’s like she’s saying, ‘I’m beautiful, look at me.’”
Ten hours later, Rowland and Caravel posed for another picture, this one in the winner’s circle for the Caress Stakes (G3) for the filly’s first graded win.
Rowland was the first down the clubhouse steps, shank in hand, her face awash in tears and emotion, and it was she, a few minutes later, who guided Caravel and Irad Ortiz Jr. in to get their picture taken.
“When we were in the barn before we headed to the paddock,” she said, “I got really emotional—not crying, but emotional. I wasn’t scared that she wouldn’t do well; it was that she wouldn’t be coming home with us.”
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