Quiet Giant to Face Eight in Molly Pitcher
by Tom LaMarra
Date Posted: 9/1/2011 10:36:49 AM
Last Updated: 9/3/2011 3:29:22 PM

Quiet Giant won the Lady's Secret at Monmouth by more than 6 lengths.
Photo: Equi-Photo

Quiet Giant, off a strong victory at Monmouth Park a month ago, looms a tough customer in the Sept. 3 Hill 'n' Dale Molly Pitcher Stakes (gr. II), but the race lured a solid field of nine.

The Molly Pitcher was scheduled for Aug. 28 at the New Jersey track but was postponed because of Hurricane Irene. The 1 1/16-mile test for fillies and mares has a post time of 5:55 p.m. EDT and is slated as the 11th race on a 12-race Saturday program.

As part of its sponsorship Hill 'n' Dale Farm is offering stallion seasons to the top three finishers. The winner will have first choice among Roman Ruler, Midnight Lute, and Zensational, who stand for $15,000, $17,500, and $22,500, respectively.

Quiet Giant, owned by the estate of Edward P. Evans, has won six races, four of them stakes. Her last start—and victory—came July 31 in the Lady’s Secret Stakes, in which she toyed with the field and won by more than six lengths.

The Virginia-bred 4-year-old filly by Giant's Causeway   was bred by Evans. In her only start in graded company, Quiet Giant finished sixth in the grade II La Troienne Stakes at Churchill Downs in May.

Todd Pletcher trains Quiet Giant, who has been working steadily at her Belmont Park base since the Lady’s Secret.

In from Saratoga is Carolyn Wilson’s Arena Elvira, who won the Madame Jumel Stakes at Saratoga Aug. 5 in her stakes debut. The 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Ghostzapper   has four wins and never has been worse than third in nine starts for trainer Bill Mott.

Arena Elvira, who appears to fit the 1 1/16-mile distance of the Molly Pitcher perfectly, drew the outside post but figures to be well-placed early.

Mike Pressley and Edward Taylor’s Payton d'Oro, a grade II stakes winner, ships in from Delaware Park for trainer Larry Jones. The 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by Medaglia d'Oro   finished fourth and was placed third in the grade I Ruffian Handicap at Saratoga July 31 and makes her Monmouth debut.

Payton d’Oro, a four-time stakes winner, also is well-suited by the Molly Pitcher distance. Her August works at Delaware Park have been on the quick side, including a three-furlong drill in :34.80 Aug. 30.

The Molly Pitcher is one of two stakes on the Monmouth program; the other is the grade III Sapling Stakes for 2-year-olds.

$250,000 Molly Pitcher Stakes (gr. II, Race 11, 5:55 p.m.), Fillies and Mares, 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles (Dirt)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Payton d'Oro (KY) G Saez 117 J L Jones
2. Blind Date (MD) S Russell 117 H A Smith
3. Check Point (KY) C H Marquez, Jr. 117 A E Goldberg
4. Debonair Darling (FL) E Trujillo 117 G D Sacco
5. Quiet Giant (VA) J R Leparoux 119 T A Pletcher
6. Absinthe Minded (KY) M J Luzzi 117 D W Lukas
7. Champagne d'Oro (KY) K J Desormeaux 117 E J Guillot
8. Tesoro de Amor (KY) P Lopez 117 E Plesa, Jr.
9. Arena Elvira (KY) J Bravo 117 W I Mott



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