News & Barn notes

Trainer Lacey Gaudet Taking Ambitious Shot With Chauncey In Saturday’s Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks

August 17, 2018


In a sport filled with big dreamers, trainer Lacey Gaudet sees no reason why she can’t shed her calculating approach to spotting horses to be one of them every now and then. 

Chauncey, set to run in Saturday’s Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks at a mile and a sixteenth at Monmouth Park, has never raced beyond seven furlongs, was a $50,000 claim three races back and had been 1-for-9 lifetime before a stunning – and dominant – performance in an allowance race at Laurel Park on July 14. 

Now she will be trying the likes of Grade 3 winner Sassy Sienna and Gio Game, who has been chasing Monomoy Girl in her last two starts in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks and Grade 1 Acorn Stakes, in the $100,000 feature for 3-year-old fillies. 

“I think when you look at this level anything is going to be a tall order,” said Gaudet. “But I think 3-year-old fillies can jump up right now and kind of make themselves look really good. When you get into these types of races it’s never going to be an easy spot. But I think she’s as good as she can get right now.” 

When Chauncey won that allowance race at Laurel, in just her second start for Gaudet, she did so by 6½ lengths – and at odds of 38-1. 

The daughter of Jimmy Creed-Lady Nichol also gave reason to hope for bigger and better things to come by earning an 89 Beyer Speed Figure. That’s a higher number than any of the fillies in the field of nine has ever earned. 

“That was a really big number in her last race. She ran kind of a freaky race,” said Gaudet. “But she also ran to how she had been training. That was her first time past six furlongs too. 

“When you’re looking at spots against 3-year-old fillies this looked like the best one against 3-year-olds going long. So it seemed like a good spot. I think we were all surprised by her last race. But she was so dominant we felt like this was worth a shot.” 

Claimed by A. G. Chaudry on April 29, Chauncey’s first start for Gaudet was a bust – an 11th place finish in a 5½-furlong allowance race on the grass. The breakout performance on the dirt at seven furlongs followed a month later. 

Now there’s reason to hope she just may be a talented late developer. 

“Her sister is a half to Malibu Moon so the owner claimed her for broodmare purposes and was just hoping we could do a little good with her during her racing time and improve her a little bit,” said Gaudet. “On form there really wasn’t much there when she was claimed. But for me she has always trained well and she ran like she trained in her last race.” 

Jose Ferrer, Monmouth Park’s leading rider, has the mount.