Molly Pitcher: Malibu Prayer the One to Beat
by Jason Shandler
Date Posted: 8/26/2010 3:11:32 PM
Last Updated: 8/29/2010 10:34:39 AM

Malibu Prayer is the 6-5 favorite in the Molly Pitcher.
Photo: Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO

Grade I winner Malibu Prayer will give six pounds to five fillies and mares when she goes to post as the favorite in the $300,000 Molly Pitcher Stakes (gr. II) Aug. 29 at Monmouth Park.

The Edward Evans homebred drew the rail in the 1 1/16-mile dirt race and will carry 123 pounds as the 6-5 choice, including Garrett Gomez. The 4-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon   will seek the fifth victory in her last six starts and try to continue her climb toward the top of the division.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Malibu Prayer garnered her first grade I win in the Aug. 1 Ruffian Handicap last out at Saratoga, going wire-to-wire in a 1 3/4-length win. Prior to that, she romped in the Lighthouse Stakes June 26 at Monmouth, which was her second start over the track. Last year, the bay filly was runner-up in the Monmouth Oaks (gr. III), the last of three consecutive second-place efforts in graded stakes company.
Malibu Prayer closed out her 3-year-old season with a win in the Chilukki (gr. II) at Churchill Downs. She sports a record of 6-3-2 from 12 starts and earnings of $558,026.
Second choice in the field at 9-5 is the Patrick Biancone-trained Queen Martha, who exits a runner-up finish in the Lady’s Secret July 24, beaten three lengths by Rachel Alexandra. The 4-year-old filly by Rahy has won two of seven starts, both in Great Britain. She’s twice been second since arriving in the U.S. and will be making just her second start on dirt when she breaks from post 5 with regular rider Joe Bravo in the irons.
Also in the field is Milwaukee Appeal, the Woodbine Oaks victor from last year but winless in three starts in 2010; Just Jenda, who is three-for-four at Monmouth, including three stakes wins; Unforgotten, a 6-year-old mare making her 37th career start; and Stage Trick.

$300,000 Molly Pitcher (gr. II, Race 11, 5:43 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles (Dirt)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Malibu Prayer (VA), G K Gomez, 123, T A Pletcher
2. Stage Trick (KY), E Trujillo, 117, A E Goldberg
3. Just Jenda (KY), T J Thompson, 117, C Jones
4. Unforgotten (FL), E Castro, 117, D Stewart
5. Queen Martha (KY), J Bravo, 117, P L Biancone
6. Milwaukee Appeal (ON), S Elliott, 117, S H Fairlie
 



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