Daylight Ahead hangs on in Jameela win
From a Maryland Jockey Club release
Winners Circle Partners VIII’s lightly raced homebred Daylight Ahead broke on top and never looked back, stubbornly holding off defending champion Lovable Lady down the stretch to earn her first career stakes victory in the $75,000 Jameela.
Daylight Ahead ($14.40) was making her third career stakes start and second straight off a third-place finish in the Blue Sparkler May 28 at Monmouth Park under jockey Katie Davis, who earned a return call Saturday.
A 4-year-old daughter of Mineshaft based at Laurel with trainer Hugh McMahon, Daylight Ahead ran six furlongs in 1:09.13 over the Fort Marcy layout to win by a neck. Lovable Lady, a versatile stakes winner on turf and dirt making her 21st career start, was length better than 3-5 favorite Everything Lovely – front-running winner of the The Very One May 20 at Pimlico – in third.
“I knew she was pretty quick coming out of the gate because they gave me an opportunity to ride her at Monmouth. I knew two horses inside of me were fast as well, but when I knew I outbroke them I just had to go,” Davis said. “I wasn’t trying to choke her or do anything. I was just trying to settle easy, take a deep breath and around that turn I waited five seconds like Hugh said and I just started riding her. Three jumps before the wire, I knew I had it. It’s so cool.”
Daylight Ahead, making her 10th career start, outsprinted Everything Lovely for the lead after a quarter-mile in a sizzling 22.97 seconds and ran the half in 45.77 as Loveable Lady moved closer to challenge on her outside. Daylight Ahead came under a ride approaching the head of the lane and had to contend with Lovable Lady from mid-stretch to the wire but refused to let her by.
“We were thinking we were going to be stalking that one, but she seemed to inherit the lead,” McMahon said. “It looked like [Davis] was trying to be obedient to the instructions but she had to think for herself. The filly had the speed today so she went with it. She got a bit of a relief around the turn and she had a bit of momentum in the stretch.
“She’s learning competition, this filly. The horse came to her, headed her and she dug in and prevailed,” he added. “For a six-furlong sprint they were setting some pretty good fractions, and she was still maintaining and kicking at the end. I think there’s more to this filly. It’s just one race at a time. She’s lightly raced. We’re just seeing an improving filly this year. Hopefully we’ll pick our spots right.”
Last fall’s Maryland Million Ladies winner Devilish Love, Le Weekend, Holiday Blues, 2017 Conniver runner-up If I Was a Boy, multiple stakes winner Rockin Jojo and 2015 Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship winner Look Who’s Talking completed the order of finish.