Last at the top of the stretch, Charles Fipke’s homebred Lady Shakespeare rolled past all three rivals inside the sixteenth-pole en route to a 2 3/4-length victory in the $150,000 New York Stakes (gr. IIT) (VIDEO) for fillies and mares June 19 at Belmont Park.
Seven were entered for the New York but Nehantic Kid and Sweet and Flawless were scratched, and Gozzip Girl was taken out of the race just after the break when she stumbled and threw rider Ramon Dominguez to the ground. That left only four to contest the 1 1/4-mile race.
There was no change in the running order for most of the way, as Daveron set the pace under Rajiv Maragh and Ave pressed the leader through splits of :24.23, :48.96, 1:11.92, and 1:35.57. There was a big gap back to Changing Skies and Lady Shakespeare until they hit the top of the stretch.
Daveron remained in front by a half-length at the eighth-pole and carried her lead until tiring midway through the stretch. Ave, Changing Skies, and Lady Shakespeare all charged past on the outside, but it was Lady Shakespeare, who trailed by 2 1/2 lengths with a furlong remaining, rallying fastest from her four-wide path with John Velazquez aboard. She won going away while stopping the clock in 2:00.34 on the firm turf.
Changing Skies was one-length better than third-place Ave. Daveron finished fourth.
"She makes you work for it, but she earns it," Velazquez said. "I just didn't want to be too far out of it with just three horses in front of me. I kind of had to start halfway through the backstretch just to make sure she didn’t stay too far back.
"At the quarter pole, I hit her left handed and put her in the clear; it was like an instant reaction, she went right to them. She was so quick, I couldn't believe it. She got to the lead, her ears went up, and she knew what to do."
Lady Shakepeare, a 4-year-old daughter of Theatrical, earned her second consecutive win after a pair of tough defeats to begin her 2010 campaign. The chestnut filly won the Grey Goose Bewitch Stakes (gr. IIIT) Aprill 22 last out at Keeneland for her first graded stakes victory. Earlier in the season she missed by a head in both the Marshua’s River and Orchid (gr. IIIT) stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Overall, Lady Shakespeare is 7-2-1 from 12 starts and has earned $495,608. Roger Attfield trains the winner, who was bred in Kentucky and is out of the That’s a Nice mare Lady Shirl.
“She loves to run," said Attfield's assistant, Sue Lorimer. "She’s kind of laid back early, but once she gets going she’s all racehorse. She’s been so consistent. John had ridden her twice before so there wasn’t any need for instructions, just ride it like you see it. Roger will see how she comes out of this race and go from there.”
Sent off as the slight favorite, Lady Shakespeare paid $6.50, $3.50, and $2.10. The exacta (6-2) returned $30.40 and the trifecta (6-2-1) was $71.50.
Dominguez walked off the course under his own power after being thrown from Gozzip Girl.