For the third straight year, Monster Sleeping went postward in the Jameela.
Three, it happens, is the charm.
The Maryland-bred, Maryland Million-eligible Oratory mare tipped wide in the stretch, and closed determinedly in the grassy six furlong event for fillies and mares three and up, and rolled to a two-length victory over favored Everything Lovely. Eddy Gourmet, a 31-1 outsider, finished third.
“She broke well, as she usually does,” said trainer Dale Capuano, “and (jockey) Forest (Boyce) rode her very well today.”
It was the eighth career win for Monster Sleeping and pushed her lifetime earnings north of $400,000.
In each of the last two years, Capuano and owner Chip Reed used the Jameela as a springboard to a spot in the Maryland Million Ladies, and Capuano indicated that that was also in the cards this year.
“Our objective is to try to get to the Maryland Million race again this year,” the veteran conditioner said. “But, this race is a lot farther away than it was last year, so we may have to think about what we are going to do from here. We’ll find one more race for her.”
ALL BRANDY STAKES
A year ago, Vielsalm closed late to upset the All Brandy Stakes, a nine-furlong turf race for older fillies and mares.
The Dylan Smith trainee almost did it again.
But this time, after taking a short lead in mid-stretch, she did not have quite enough to hold off the late-running favorite, Joy. Joy, a Maryland-bred daughter of Pure Prize, tipped outside under Julian Pimentel, drew event with Vielsalm, and narrowly bested that runner. It was more than four lengths back to Green Wave Girl in third.
It was the third career stakes victory for Joy, bred and owned by Dark Hollow Farm. She has now earned nearly $250,000 in her career with five wins from 24 starts.
Vielsalm remained winless since last year’s All Brandy but has finished second or third in three of five 2015 starts.
“I was actually a bit worried when the fractions were so slow,” said Adrian Rolls, assistant to Graham Motion, who trains Joy. “But she likes to run on the outside like that, and the jockey gave her a good ride and timed it perfectly.”[su_divider top=”no” style=”double”]
Phlash Phelps notched his third consecutive victory — at the third different distance, and on both turf, as today’s race was, and dirt — in this afternoon’s Find Stakes, capping the Maryland Pride Day’s stakes schedule.
The nine-furlong Find, for three year olds and up, figred to be a showdown between two-time Maryland Million Turf champ Roadhog and favored Talk Show Man. But those two runners could only muster up third- and fourth-place finishes, respectively.
Meanwhile, for four-year-old Phlash Phelps, it marked the latest step in a startling improvement that has seen the horse go from maiden to stakes winner in three steps.
“The people that bred him told us that the whole family were late bloomers, but I didn’t believe them,” admitted trainer Rodney Jenkins. “When I ran him as a two-year-old he came in second, then went down hill for awhile. He popped a couple splints, but nothing terrible. I have the best owner [Ellen Charles of Hillwood Stable] in the world to be honest. I think that she would have let me wait three years, if I asked her. All I ever have to do is tell her what we want to do, and she always says OK.”
With Victor Carrasco in the irons, Phlash Phelps stalked the early pace of longshot Capital Fellow, steadied at the head of the lane, surged between horses to the lead, then had enough to hold off late-running longshot Eyeplayeveryday for the win.
Phlash Phelps, a Maryland-bred, Maryland Million-eligible son of Great Notion, won for the third time in eight starts and has now earned over $120,000.
Jenkins said that Phlash Phelps would be pointed to the Maryland Million, possibly with a start in between.