Wedding Toast rolls to victory in the Ruffian Stakes.<br><a target="blank" href="http://photos.bloodhorse.com/AtTheRaces-1/At-the-Races-2015/i-CSf46nJ">Order This Photo</a>

Wedding Toast rolls to victory in the Ruffian Stakes.
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Coglianese Photos

Wedding Toast Cruises in Ruffian

Godolphin filly earns biggest career victory May 9 at Belmont Park.

Godolphin Racing's Wedding Toast earned the biggest win of her career when she drew off through the lane to take the $250,000 Ruffian Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park on May 9 (VIDEO).

Racing fourth early on while her entry mate Via Strata set the pace in the one-mile Ruffian, Wedding Toast easily went by second-choice Princess Violet in the stretch to prevail by four lengths as the 3-5 favorite.

Via Strata set the pace, covering the first half-mile in :46.40 with Princess Violet pressing in second, but on the turn for home Wedding Toast rallied from fourth while three-wide under Jose Lezcano to grab the lead for good.

"The last couple times (Lezcano) was down on in the inside and had to ask her early in the race, and they were going fast at seven furlongs," trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. "Today, I like the race shape and the way he rode her. She's a pretty talented filly."

It was the first grade II victory for the 5-year-old mare, who is by Street Sense  out of the Coronado's Quest mare Golden Sheba.

Bred in Kentucky by Darley, Wedding Toast won for the sixth time from 10 career starts, upping her career earnings to $644,956. The victory avenged the loss she suffered last month in the April 4 Madison Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland won by Princess Violet, while Wedding Toast weakened to fourth after a wide trip.

"What can I say, I had a really good trip," Lezcano said. "My filly broke good, I knew the two other fillies would be going (Via Strata and Princess Violet), so I wanted to make sure I got a good spot and we did. We sat in third and she gave me the race. The last two times, she gave me so much, and the last time, she was a little rushed. Today was all about getting her to relax and she did, and gave me a great race. She's a great filly and she performed well today."

Wedding Toast's next start could come on Belmont Stakes day, June 6, in the grade I Ogden Phipps.

"One turn, middle distance races suit her," McLaughlin said. "So we'll probably look at that. She can go two turns, but she started off short this year—successfully—so we tried her a couple times. Now that this worked out we'll keep her at a mile and up."

Wedding Toast finished second in her debut at Belmont Park on June 19, 2013, before reeling off four straight wins, including a victory in the 2013 Comely Stakes (gr. III).

She only raced once in 2014, when second behind Princess of Sylmar in the Cat Cay Stakes, and began this year with a victory in the Jan. 7 Miami Shores Handicap from Gulfstream Park.

Wedding Toast then dropped her last two starts, finishing third as the odds-on choice in the Feb. 21 Rampart Stakes at Gulfstream before finishing a wide fourth in the Madison.

Princess Violet lasted to be a clear second, while House Rules caught Shayjolie on the wire for third. Via Strata weakened to fifth, while longshot Macha trailed throughout in the six-horse field.

The final time for the mile went in 1:34.86 with Wedding Toast returning $3.30 to win, $2.10 to place and $2.10 to show. Princess Violet paid $2.50 to place and $2.10 to show and House Rules returned $2.10 to show.