Led by Edward P. Evans’ Spritely, Pin Oak Stable’s Euphony, and Glencrest Farm’s Devil House, seven capable fillies and mares were entered for the $300,000 Molly Pitcher Stakes (gr. II) Aug. 30 at Monmouth Park.
A 1 1/16-mile contest on the main track, the Molly Pitcher is the feature of Monmouth’s 10-race program. Post time is scheduled for 4:50 p.m. EDT.
Spritely, trained by Todd Pletcher, is the probable favorite as she seeks her first graded stakes win. Pletcher and jockey Chris DeCarlo teamed to win the Molly Pitcher in 2005 with Capeside Lady.
Spritely, a 4-year-old daughter of Touch Gold —Wood Sprite, by Woodman, is coming off two solid efforts—a third last out behind Seventh Street in the Go for Wand (gr. I) Aug. 2 at Saratoga, and a nose loss to Porte Bonheur in the First Flight Handicap (gr. II) June 28 at Belmont Park.
In her only Monmouth start, Spritely finished third in last year’s running of the Miss Woodford Stakes. She won the Honeybee Handicap at Meadowlands last year when stretched out around two turns for the first time, and has a pair of wins in six starts in 2009. The bay filly, who was bred in Kentucky by John Smicklas and Barbara Smicklas, drew post seven.
Trainer Donnie Von Hemel shipped in new shooter Euphony for the Molly Pitcher. The 4-year-old daughter of Forest Wildcat has been running in the Midwest, where she put together a six-stakes win streak—including the grade II Arlington Matron on Polytrack—before dropping a nose decision in the Lady Canterbury last out. The versatile filly has also won at Harrah's Louisiana Downs, Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino, Remington Park, and Oaklawn Park this season.
Euphony has the speed to appreciate Monmouth, and the filly’s regular rider, M. Clifton Berry, is coming in from Arlington for the mount. She drew post six and will carry co-top weight of 119 pounds with Devil House.
Devil House, trained by Monmouth leader Bruce Levine, prepped for the Molly Pitcher by winning the Lady’s Secret Stakes Aug. 2 under C.C. Lopez. The 5-year-old Chester House mare was also runner-up to Acoma in the March 8 Azeri (gr. III) at Oaklawn. She won the Lighthouse Stakes in Oceanport, N.J., last year and has a 2-1-1 mark in five Monmouth starts.
The Molly Pitcher, which honors the heroine of the Battle of Monmouth in 1778, gained a third Hall of Fame member this year among its illustrious roster of runners when Silverbulletday (second in the 2000 running) joined Lady’s Secret and Personal Ensign in the shrine of Thoroughbred racing.
$300,000 Molly Pitcher (gr. II, Race 9, 4:50 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles (Dirt)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. You Asked (FL), C Hill 117, A E Goldberg
2. Jessica Is Back (FL), E Castro 117, M D Wolfson
3. Annabill (FL), P L Cotto Jr., 117, S L DiMauro
4. Luna Vega (KY), E Trujillo, 117, S M Asmussen
5. Devil House (KY), C C Lopez, 119, B N Levine
6. Euphony (KY), C Berry, 119, D K Von Hemel
7. Spritely (KY), C P DeCarlo, 117, T A Pletcher