With an eighth of a mile to go in the Grade 2 Shuvee Stakes on July 24 at Saratoga Race Course, it was clear that the exacta was going to be filled by arguably the top two fillies in the nation: Clairiere and Malathaat.

No matter which one came out on top, one of the major winners was going to be the Stonestreet Bred and Raised program.

Shuvee winner Clairiere and runner-up Malathaat were both products of the Stonestreet Farm breeding operation by Stonestreet’s Hall of Fame sire Curlin, each out of A.P. Indy-line mares who won Grade 1 races under the Stonestreet colors themselves. If there is such a thing as a proven road to the top in Thoroughbred racing, it appears Stonestreet has found it.

The Shuvee was the sixth meeting between Clairiere and Malathaat on the racetrack. Each has won two races against the other, while Malathaat has outfinished her rival in the two races where neither filly ended up in the winner’s circle.

Clairiere has won the past two meetings with her rival, taking the Shuvee after holding off Malathaat by a head in the G1 Ogden Phipps Stakes at Belmont Park on June 11.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, she has consistently been one of the top fillies of her class, establishing herself as a force on the Kentucky Oaks trail with a victory in the G2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes, running fourth in the Oaks, and earning her first Grade 1 victory in the fall of her 3-year-old campaign in the Cotillion Stakes. She’s gotten even better at age four, winning three of her four starts in 2022.

With over $1.9 million in earnings, Clairiere is fast approaching the $2,063,000 accumulated by her dam, the Bernardini mare Cavorting.

Cavorting and jockey Javier Castellano win the Personal Ensign (Gr I)

Like her daughter, Cavorting was a winner of the G1 Ogden Phipps. She never lost in four starts in Saratoga, taking the G2 Adirondack Stakes at age two, sweeping the G1 Test Stakes and G2 Prioress Stakes at three, and finally winning the G1 Personal Ensign Stakes a year later in her career finale.

Though Clairiere was a homebred, Cavorting was purchased by Stonestreet at auction as a yearling for $360,000.

Malathaat’s career has had several similar beats to Clairiere’s, if somewhat in reverse.

Where Clairiere is a homebred runner out of a mare Stonestreet purchased at auction, Malathaat is a daughter of a Stonestreet homebred who runs under different colors after lighting up the auction ring as a yearling.

Malathaat is out of the Stonestreet-born A.P. Indy mare Dreaming of Julia, who won the G1 Frizette Stakes as a 2-year-old, then took the G2 Gulfstream Oaks at three before joining her breeder’s broodmare band. Offered at the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Malathaat sold to Shadwell Estate Co. for $1.05 million, and she was later placed in the barn of trainer Todd Pletcher.

Malathat going through the ring at the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale

Malathaat won the first meeting with her Stonestreet-born counterpart, when she took last year’s Kentucky Oaks by a hard-fought neck over Search Results, while Clairiere finished fourth. She then finished second in her Saratoga debut, missing by a head in the G1 Coaching Club American Oaks, while Clairiere finished third.

Both horses improved their positions in the following start in upstate New York, the G1 Alabama Stakes, where Malathaat once again got the best of runner-up Clairiere. They met one final time in 2021 in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Del Mar, where Malathaat ran third and Clairiere finished fourth.

Both fillies finished 2021 as Eclipse Award finalists for champion 3-year-old filly, with Malathaat taking home the honors.

With continued clashes at the highest levels of their division, the two products of the Stonestreet breeding program could once again see their paths cross at the 2022 Eclipse Awards to provide another chapter in one of the sport’s most intense and equally-matched rivalries.

Head To Head: Clairiere Vs. Malathaat

G2 Shuvee S.1st2nd
G1 Ogden Phipps S.1st2nd
G1 BC Distaff4th3rd
G1 Alabama S.2nd1st
G1 CCA Oaks3rd2nd
G1 Kentucky Oaks4th1st

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