Northern Eclipse shines in Laurel Park feature win
From a Maryland Jockey Club release
Toby Roth’s Northern Eclipse, back to her stakes-winning form from this summer, out-sprinted the field early and dug in down the stretch to hold off long shot Biter and win Saturday’s featured eighth race at Laurel Park.
It was the first victory for Northern Eclipse ($9) since her front-running triumph in the Camptown Stakes against fellow Virginia-breds Aug. 5 at Laurel. The winning time was 1:04.19 over an All Along Turf Course rated good.
Northern Eclipse broke sharp under jockey Sheldon Russell and was in front through a quarter-mile in 22.34 seconds and a half in 45.74 with only mild pressure from Eye On Berlin from the outside. They held the lead after straightening for home and had plenty left to turn back a spirited bid from Bioterp in the final eighth to win by a neck.
Sycee finished third with Elegant Supermodel fourth. More’n Likely, a $250,000 yearling favored at 4-5 after going unbeaten in her first two career starts this year, was fifth.
“I thought she broke good. I told him if there’s other competition going with her, determine that on the break. If she gets a clear lead, hold it, and he did,” winning trainer Hugh McMahon said. “She didn’t have a pressured lead so she had energy turning for home and she just kicked on.
“She likes this kind of track, a good track, and she’s done that before when she won that stake,” he added. “Sheldon said she needed that competition because she was idling. Right at the end there when they eyeballed her, he brought her out there to get that competition and she dug in and held on.”
A 5-year-old Northern Afleet mare, Northern Eclipse now owns five wins, two seconds and two thirds from 10 career starts at Laurel, four of those wins coming since being claimed for $16,000 last November.