Last year La Reason shipped into Monmouth Park from Kentucky to win the $300,000 Molly Pitcher Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II). This year she'll try to record back-to-back wins in the 1 1/16-mile race as a member of the home team after trainer David Vance relocated his stable from Churchill Downs to the New Jersey oval.
As for La Reason, a 5-year-old daughter of Labeeb, Vance says she's coming into the 2005 Molly Pitcher much like she did into the 2004 running.
"Last year, she came into this race off a third in the Fleur de Lis Handicap at Churchill, beaten five lengths," Vance said. "This year, she finished fourth in that race, but only got beat a length and a quarter. She was making up ground in the stretch on the rail, but the inside was kind of dead that week, and she never was able to get to the leaders."
Before the grade II Fleur de Lis, Vance ran the mare in an allowance race and she scored by more than three lengths.
"It was the first time in a long time that she was in that easy," the trainer said. "She had been running in graded stakes for most of the last two seasons, and I wanted to give her a confidence builder."
La Reason races as a homebred for Ron Kirby and Tom Kirby.
Scoring back-to-back wins might prove a tad difficult for La Reason. She will face a talented field, including One for Rose, who will be the starting highweight at 118 pounds Saturday.
Also providing a tough challenge will be Capeside Lady, Bending Strings, and Ender's Sister.
One for Rose, a 6-year-old daughter of Tejano Run
, who has been Canada's champion older mare in 2003 and 2004, is trained by Sid Attard for Tucci Stables.
One for Rose enters the Molly Pitcher off a win in the Ontario Matron Stakes. In her first start of the year, she finished second in the George C. Hendrie Handicap (Can-III). Both races were at Woodbine.
The field for Saturday's $300,000 Molly Pitcher Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) includes:
1-- One for Rose (Emile Ramsammy, 122)
2-- Capeside Lady (Christopher DeCarlo, 116)
3-- Emerald Earrings (Joe Bravo, 114)
4-- Bending Strings (Ramon Dominguez, 116)
5-- La Reason (Charles Lopez, 114)
6-- Ender's Sister (Elvis Trujillo, 115)
7-- Friel's for Real (Stewart Elliott, 113)
8-- Madonna Lilly (Jose Velez, Jr. 112)