C Karma could return
After an eighth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, the connections of C Karma expected that their prize runner’s season was over. The filly had other ideas, though, and after “kicking the barn down,” as trainer Pamela Edel puts it, they were left with no choice but to find a race for her. In one of the nascent meeting’s most scintillating performances, C Karma closed past an entire field in the Fair Grounds stretch to win last Saturday’s Pontalba Stakes by three-quarters-of-a-length.
Afterward, Edel left open the possibility of a return to New Orleans for the rich series of 3-year-old filly races starting in January: the Tiffany Lass, the Grade III Silverbulletday and the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks.
“She’s going to go down to Palm Meadows with Greg [de Gannes],” Edel says. “That’s not to say we won’t travel. She could come back here—obviously she didn’t mind the dirt. She’s won on dirt and turf, long and short, and on the Polytrack, so there’s nothing stopping her anywhere.”
De Gannes will once again be the filly’s trainer of record. Edel is the owner/breeder and often races a few of the horses she can’t sell. In the case of C Karma, it only made sense to ship her to New Orleans from Ocala, Fla., to run in Edel’s name with de Gannes based at Woodbine in Toronto this time of year.
Then again, with more offers to buy on the way after the Pontalba score, there is also the possibility that C Karma won’t run in either Edel’s or de Gannes’s name next time out. “They might offer me too much money this time and I might have to sell,” Edel says. “I hope not.”
Those aren’t words you’ll hear very often from a pinhooker, but Edel has become attached to the daughter of Exchange Rate. “One of the commentators called her ‘the sweetheart of the Breeders’ Cup.’ You lean against the webbing and she’ll just put her head over you and hang out. She’s a neat horse.”
Edel would have sold her long ago if not for a gash on the filly’s knee sustained when she ran through a gate as a yearling. “Nobody wanted her,” Edel says. “Even now, people try to buy her and they look at her knee and they go, ‘hmm.’”
The Breeders’ Cup represented the pinnacle of Edel’s career. In addition to starting C Karma, she also got to watch Forever Together—who she bought as a yearling for $27,000 and sold as a 2-year-old for $240,000—win the Filly & Mare Turf. “To run in the Breeders’ Cup was awesome,” Edel says, glancing down at her purple windbreaker before adding, “I got a jacket!”
The journey to the Breeders’ Cup was as improbable for Edel as it was for her filly. Edel grew up with show horses, but didn’t think about working in racing until she was 19. “I didn’t know there was a job out there for somebody like me who loved horses,” she says. “When they told me I could come groom horses I was like, “Really? For money?”
Now she owns a multiple stakes winner who has already earned $189,810 and is just getting started. As Edel says, “If she continues to improve like she’s doing, the sky’s the limit.”