Looking back through all of the races in which Trensita (Trensa, by Giant’s Causeway) has been placed, it seems her connections always knew what they had.
Trainer Michael Matz cut to the chase: she debuted going a mile and a sixteenth at Saratoga in August of 2015, her two-year-old year. In eleven starts before yesterday, she had never tried going shorter than that. She had tried going as long as a mile and five sixteenths. Except for one wash-off, in which she proved she did not love the slop as much as her sire did, she had done all of her running on grass.
So often, when a horse remains a maiden after so many starts, they’ll try something else. They’ll try going short. They’ll target another surface. They’ll drop into the claiming ranks.
Not Trensita: she kept turning up in maiden special weight turf routes, between eight and a half and ten and a half furlongs. She was second twice at two, third once at three, but had had missed the board in her first two starts at age four.
Her breeding screamed “long-winded”, of course. So many of Curlin’s babies like a route of ground. Trensa, her dam, had three wins at a mile and a sixteenth on poly and turf, and was GIII-placed going a mile and three eighths on the Delaware grass.
Trensita was the first of her babies to hit the track. But, Trensa’s first winner was Hawkbill (Kitten’s Joy). A three-year-old this year, he has run seven times, and won his last five. His two most recent victories came at ten furlongs on the grass, including a victory in the Tercentenary Stakes (GIII – ENG) at Royal Ascot this month.
Trensita tried again yesterday under a bit smaller spotlight, an eleven-furlong maiden special weight over the Delaware grass.
But, for the first time in twelve starts, Trensita put it all together.
She broke from the widest post of seven. Through the first turn and the first time down the stretch, she ran with the main pack, widest of all, in touch with the pacesetter. Still three wide through the second turn, she improved position into the backstretch run, settling to track leader Come to Utopia in third.
Into the third turn, Erick Rodriguez asked Trensita, and she took over. She passed the stalking Like a Million, passed pacesetter Come to Utopia, and swung into the stretch with daylight between her and the rest of the field. Good Roll had aim, but Trensita had enough.
In her twelfth try, Trensita crossed the wire half a length in front. Perhaps she took some inspiration from her mother, a winner and twice stakes-placed at Delaware Park. Perhaps she took some from her little brother, so recently a winner at Ascot. Perhaps she just woke up ready to run.
The light came on, and Trensita finally rewarded her connections’ conviction that she would triumph going long on turf.