Graham Motion trains the winning Kitten's Joy
filly for Zanim R. Meahjohn. She unleashed a torrid stretch bid on the rail for Trevor McCarthy and wore down Sumba Sunset for a head victory in the 1 1/8-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies.
"I just let her break and decided to take her back to last to relax," McCarthy said. "It was an honest pace and she was really able to save ground and pick it up at the end. The more she's run, the more she's learning and she showed her class today."
The 7-2 second choice in the eight-horse field, Munirah covered the distance in 1:47.51 on firm turf. She was making only her third career start after winning her debut June 18 going six furlongs over the Presque Isle Downs
all-weather track. She then finished second as the favorite in an allowance at one mile and 70 yards on the turf at Delaware Park
Sumba Sunset, at 11-1 odds, set the pace along the inside, clocking fractions of :22.82, :47.40, and 1:11.34 for six furlongs while Mary n' Eileen
chased from second, never more than a length back. Mary n' Eileen faded out after three-quarters and Sumba Sunset appeared set to go on to victory at the eighth pole, opening 1 1/2-length advantage. Munirah was fifth at that point but willingly responded for the drive and arrived just in time to deny Sumba Sunset.
She's Not Here
, seventh after six furlongs, was swung wide into the stretch and was up in time for third, a half-length behind Sumba Sunset.
Munirah paid $9.80, $5, $3.20 while keying a $ $110.40 exacta with Sumba Sunset, who returned $10.60 and $6.60. She's Not Here was worth $4.20 to show.
Ben P. Walden Jr. bred Munirah in Kentucky from the grade II-placed Red Ransom mare Speed to Burn, a half sister to 2005 Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) winner and sire Artie Schiller
. Second dam Hidden Light
was a multiple grade I winner.
Munirah was a $160,000 weanling purchase by Crestwood Farm from Walden's Pauls Mill Bloodstock consignment at the 2011 Keeneland November breeding stock sale.