Harmony Lodge Crashes House Party Again

Harmony Lodge Crashes House Party Again
Photo: AP/Equi-Photo: Gary I Rothstein
Harmony Lodge, with Richard Migliore aboard, wins First Lady Handicap, Sunday at Gulfstream Park.
Laura and Eugene Melnyk's favored Harmony Lodge became a repeat winner of the $100,000 First Lady Handicap (gr. III) Sunday at Gulfstream Park, her third consecutive graded stakes victory.

Ridden by Richard Migliore and trained by Todd Pletcher, this Hennessy mare crept up on the leaders on the turn for home and kicked away in the stretch to register a 1 3/4-length triumph over House Party. Mayo On The Side was third. The winning time in the six-furlong First Lady was 1:09 3/5.

Harmony Lodge, a narrow 8-5 choice of the public over House Party, was making her first start since beating that rival by a half-length in the Gallant Bloom (gr. II) at Belmont Park on Oct. 5. Harmony Lodge captured the Ballerina Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga by a nose on Aug. 24.

Harmony Lodge was never far off the pace as Holy Bubbette and Follow Me Home dueled through an opening quarter mile of :21 4/5 and the half in :44 4/5. On the turn for home, Migliore angled Harmony Lodge to the outside path and she quickly put away the leaders with a game response. She led by 3 1/2 lengths after five furlongs in :57.

Under pressure from Migliore while holding the late rallying House Party and Jose Santos safe down the lane, she was never really threatened. Mayo On The Side, Jose Velez riding, was full of run through the stretch and missed second by a half-length after being outrun early.

The Kentucky-bred Harmony Lodge earned $60,000 for the victory, her 10th in 19 starts. She has banked $735,120.

Sabine Stables bred Harmony Lodge, who is from Win Crafty Lady (by Crafty Prospector). She was a $1.65 million Fasig-Tipton purchase in February 2000.

Harmony Lodge paid $5.20, $3.20 and $2.80. House Party returned $3 and $2.80. Mayo On The Side's show was $8.60. The $2 exacta was worth $11.80.

(Chart, Equibase)

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