Shadwell Stable’s Malathaat registered the fourth Grade 1 win of her stellar career with a determined score over fellow Kentucky-bred Search Results in the $600,000 Personal Ensign Stakes (G1) at Saratoga on Saturday, Aug. 27.
Defending champion Letruska led the compact field of five through the early stages of the 1 1/8-mile test with Search Results tracking from second. Jockey John Velazquez guided Malathaat to the rail from post five in the opening turn and advanced to third down the backstretch. Search Results took the lead in the lane but could not fend of a hard-charging Malathaat who was angled off the rail for the stretch run. Malathaat collared Search Results in deep stretch and surged clear to win by a half-length at the wire, stopping the clocking in 1:48.30.
“It’s all about seeing her perform to her capabilities, and with all due respect to the field, we always feel like when she shows up and runs her A-race, that she’s the top 4-year-old filly in the country and I think she showed that today,” said trainer Todd Pletcher.
Second to Clairiere in the Shuvee Stakes (G2) in her previous start, Malathaat was a three-time Grade 1 winner last year at three. She captured the Alabama Stakes (G1), the Kentucky Oaks (G1), and the Ashland Stakes (G1). A $1,050,000 Keeneland September graduate in 2019, Malathaat is a daughter of Curlin out of the Grade 1-winning A.P. Indy mare Dreaming of Julia. She was bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC. Malathaat has now amassed career earnings of more than $2.3 million.
“It was very, very nice to see her come back to prove how good a horse she really is,” said Velazquez. “We know she’s a good horse. It’s hard to tell why she was so dull last time. But today, I just made sure that she was in the game, and she showed it today. When I pulled her out at the three-sixteenths pole and asked her, she was in the game.”