Stolen Holiday wins the Eatontown at Monmouth Park
Stolen Holiday rebounded from an unplaced finish in her stakes debut last time out by rolling gate to wire for a breakthrough at the Grade 3 level Saturday in the $152,500 Eatontown Stakes t Monmouth Park.
Guided by Jose Lezcano, the 5-year-old War Front mare broke on top and set a comfortable pace– :25.51, :50.61, and 1:14.22 for six furlongs–before opening a two-length lead in early stretch. Roused to maintain her advantage, she continued on strongly to score by one-length from stablemate Vigilantes Way, who tracked from third and rallied gamely to be second-best. Lemista was 2 3/4 lengths back in third and 8-5 favorite Fluffy Socks rallied from last to finish fourth in the field of seven fillies and mares.
Stolen Holiday covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.30 on firm turf and returned $18.40.
“Stolen Holiday is a nice filly,” said Shug McGaughey, who trains the mare for Annette Allen. “Her races this year have all been good. The race in the Beaugay ([G3] at Belmont Park) last time out came up really soft and that’s not what she wants. I wouldn’t have run her today if it wasn’t a good, firm turf.
“She’s got speed and the speed horse (in the Eatontown, Por Que No) scratched and Jose Lezcano was smart enough when she broke well to put her on the lead and let her set the fractions. I was very pleased with Vigilante’s Way. There was no pace in the race and she just got beat a length. I thought she ran well. I’m pleased for Stolen Holiday’s connections. She’s a very well-bred filly. This was not unexpected – but I really didn’t know what to expect. When they threw up that :25.51 first quarter and :50.61 to the half I thought they would have a hard time beating her.”
Lezcano said he watched her past races to know that she runs well when she is close or in the clear.
“She broke well and nobody wanted to go with us,” he said. “I let her break and she was very comfortable to the half (in :50.61) and when I got to the three-eighths I said ‘I have to let her out’ and no one was really closing at us. When you are able to get away with a slow half like that you feel comfortable you will have a lot left. She finished very good. She’s a very versatile horse. This time she broke clean and when no one else wanted to go I said to myself ‘OK, I’ll take the lead.’ That was the difference in the race.”
Stolen Holiday improved her career line to 4-2-1 from 10 and boosted her lifetime bankroll to $228,990. The bay mare was bred in Kentucky by Orpendale from the Sadler’s Wells mare Silk And Scarlet, a Group 2 winner who has produced three Grade 1 or Group 1 winners: Master of Hounds, Eishin Apollon, and Minorette.