Miss Leslie rallies to win Obeah

Sitting in last behind a very slow pace with a half-mile to go, Miss Leslie sure seemed up against it in Wednesday’s $150,000 Obeah Stakes.

No matter, though: under regular pilot Angel Cruz, she closed determinedly on the outside and, despite shifting out a couple of paths when hit with a lefthanded stick, prevailed by a half-length. The official time of 1:47.14 for 1 1/16 miles on a fast main track appears likely to be revised downward.

It was Miss Leslie’s second consecutive win and fifth in eight starts under Cruz.

“It played out well,” Cruz said. “Other than [drifting out], she was really well-paced, the pace was slow, and she came running.”

The race played out about as expected. Flight to Shanghai, with Victor Carrasco in the irons, was away alertly and set the early tempo, leading at each of the first three calls. Hybrid Eclipse was her nearest pursuer, with post time favorite Battle Bling third and Miss Leslie dawdling in sixth and five lengths back after the opening half-mile.

Cruz got Miss Leslie into gear rounding the turn, and she circled the field to reach contention in the lane, staying on stubbornly to prevail. Battle Bling was second, while Hybrid Eclipse, who led briefly in the lane, was third, almost three lengths behind Battle Bling.

Trained by Claudio Gonzalez for BB Horses, Miss Leslie now has nine wins from 21 career starts. The winner’s share today pushes her career bankroll to $565,650.

“Claudio had her ready today,” Cruz added. “The assistant trainers do a good job with her.”

The Obeah is the local prep for the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap. That contest is slated for July 9.

“She ran really big,” Gonzalez said. “She closed after getting no pace. There are not many horses who can do that. The Del Cap is a possibility. It is all going to depend on how she comes back.  If she comes back in good shape we will point for the Delaware Handicap.”

Miss Leslie paid $6.60 to win, and the exacta returned $6.50 on a one-dollar wager.

Miss Leslie
Miss Leslie won the Obeah Stakes. Photo HoofprintsInc.com.