R.C. Colton Jr. & Mast Thoroughbred LLC's Miss Lodi and her apprentice jockey Ryan Fogelsonger both won their first graded stakes Saturday in $100,000 Safely Kept Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Pimlico.
A tightly matched band of eight fillies faced the starter in the six-furlong test. Longshot Private Academy and pre-race favorite For Rubies sped off to set the pace. For Rubies put away that rival and entered the lane the leader, but Fogelsonger and Miss Lodi were relentless in pursuit.
The blond-haired rider from Silver Spring, Md., who is leading rider at this meeting, shook his stick at Miss Lodi and urged her forward until they collared For Rubies in the shadow of the wire and won by a length in 1:11.20. Miss Lodi paid $10.20 to her backers.
Fogelsonger was riding for Kentucky-based trainer Tom Amoss. The jockey took his instructions over the telephone.
"I was told to jog her a lot and get her warmed up well, send her away from the gate and see where she lies. She sat right off them and made that run at the end. Coming out of the turn I just tapped her on the shoulder and she steadily gained on them. I said to her 'there's plenty of room to catch them, keep going girl.' She kept digging in and she got there in time."
"I assumed it would be a tough race and I was right," said Amoss, via telephone from his Kentucky home. "I've called this filly the best I've trained and she stepped up today. Over the last couple races she's started to relax and I'm pleased what she did today."
Fogelsonger rode three winners Saturday and has galloped off to a commanding lead in the current summer/fall standings with 19 first place finishes, 10 ahead of second place Mario Pino. He has multiple win days on six of the first eight race cards. A former exercise rider for Dale Capuano, Fogelsonger began his riding career in late March at the tail end of the Laurel Park winter meet.
"So many things have been going well for me," added Fogelsonger. "It's amazing and I can't even describe it."