One race after seeing her three-race win streak come to an end, grade I winner Discreet Marq bounced back to claim her third stakes victory this season with a clear victory in the $200,000 Pebbles Stakes Oct. 14 at Belmont Park (VIDEO).
Patricia Generazio's homebred Discreet Marq capped a three-race win streak Aug. 17 by shipping west to win the Del Mar Oaks (gr. I). That victory followed scores on her home New York circuit in the Eventail Stakes and Sands Point Stakes (gr. IIT) at Belmont. The New York-bred daughter of Discreet Cat entered Monday's holiday card race off a runner-up finish to Alterite in the Garden City Stakes (gr. IT) Sept. 14 at Belmont.
While Alterite would be shipped to Keeneland, where she finished a close second to Kitten's Dumplings as the favorite in the 1 1/8-mile Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (gr. IT) Oct. 12, trainer Christophe Clement opted to keep Discreet Marq home for the Pebbles, a one-mile turf test that saw seven 3-year-old fillies break from the gate. Clement said the mile distance of the Pebbles is a better fit.
"She's a very nice filly who belongs to great people. I'm delighted for them," Clement said. "I've always thought she was a top-class miler. We've been stretching her all year long but she's good, and she overcame me, which is wonderful."
Often a frontrunner, jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. struggled a bit to settle Discreet Marq early in the Pebbles. But Clement credited Ortiz with soon settling the gray or roan filly in fourth, tracking 2 1/2 lengths behind early longshot leader Mariel N Kathy through a half-mile in :47.17. Discreet Marq eased up into second, behind Besilu Stables' grade III winner Tapicat, through six furlongs in 1:10.55. Those two dueled in the stretch before Discreet Marq powered away late, completing the race in 1:34.19 on firm turf.
"I raised my hands a little bit because she [fought] a little with the mouth (at first)," Ortiz said. "She relaxed very good for me today. I got a lot of filly, I got a lot of horse, so I went little by little (after Tapicat). I asked her a little bit, and she gave me what she had."
Sent off the 3-2 favorite, Discreet Marq returned $5 to win, $3 to place, and $2.40 to show. Second-choice Tapicat returned $3.70 and $3.10 while Stonestreet Stables' grade I-placed Teen Pauline finished third, paying $3.40 to show.
A winner of half her 12 career starts and earner of $705,900, Discreet Marq is out of the Marquetry mare To Marquet, who also has produced stakes winner Marquet Madness and stakes-placed Marquet Cat among her three winners.