December 23, 2006 · By
Yolanda B. Too won the $50,000 Squan Song Stakes on December 23rd at Laurel Park. Her first stakes win rested in the hands of the Laurel Park stewards. Sent off as the odds-on favorite over a wet but sealed racetrack Yolanda B. Too broke well but was outgunned through the first sixteenth of a mile. Once Yolanda uncorked her long stride, she went up to contest the early pace between rivals. She sat third less than a half-length back through the first quarter-mile. Jockey Jeremy Rose gave Yolanda her head and she quickly seized command. She looked to be streaking to victory, but a 17/1 longshot rerallied on the turn to draw on even terms at the top of the stretch. Jeremy Rose sat chilly on Yolanda not panicking on the turn. When they straightened away in the stretch he shook Yolanda up, and Yolanda fought on gamely on the rail, but the longshot began drifting in at about the eighth pole crowding Yolanda. The longshot then continued coming in at the sixteenth pole, and Rose had to completely snatch up Yolanda or risk getting thrown over the rail. Yolanda checked out of there, and Rose swung her to the outside of the wandering leader. Yolanda showed she had plenty left in the tank and came flying in the last fifty yards. She finished a half-length shy at the wire, but after the race the inquiry sign went up. Shortly after that, the jockey's objection sign also went up. For the next several minutes, all that could be done was watch the numerous replays and guess what was going through the stewards' mind. It appeared clear that Yolanda was impeded badly. After several minutes, a disqualification was announced, and Yolanda was moved up to first.
Rick Violette said, "I thought we couldn't be this unlucky. We had a ton of run left, and she was past that other filly about ten feet past the wire. I saw Jeremy take up in the stretch, but it's hard to see from the side whether the other filly was clear. When I saw the head on, I felt like we were going to get it, but you never know. This filly has been star crossed through her career, so I really wanted to get the decision she deserved. I am delighted that this filly finally has gotten a stakes win. It was a nice way to kick off the holiday weekend."
Yolanda earned $30,000 for her efforts today bringing her career total up to a very impressive $308,390. She is now officially a stakes winner. Yolanda cooled out well after the race, and we will now tentatively take aim at the $100,000 Nellie Morse Stakes on January 27th at Laurel Park.