Merry Meadow comes on late to win the Vagrancy Handicap.<br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

Merry Meadow comes on late to win the Vagrancy Handicap.
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Merry Meadow Takes Vagrancy

Daughter of Henny Hughes gets 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:17.36 at Belmont Park May 17.

Merry Meadow, fourth last time out in the Barbara Fritchie Handicap (gr. II), rallied to catch runaway Jane of All Trades to win the 6 1/2-furlong Vagrancy Handicap (gr. II) May 17 at Belmont Park. Kauai Katie, the 2-5 favorite, finished last in the four-horse field (VIDEO).

Jane of All Trades shot out to the early advantage and set a blistering opening quarter of :22.13 on a fast oval. She was tracked by Five Star Momma and Merry Meadow. Multiple graded winner Kauai Katie, owned by Stonestreet Stables, trailed early.

The half went in :45.06 as Jane of All Trades held a two-length advantage over Merry Meadow. Jane of All Trades began to waver in the lane and was run down by Merry Meadow, who went on to record a 3 3/4-length victory in 1:17.36. Jane of All Trades was 5 1/4 lengths in front of Five Star Momma. Kauai Katie, with Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard, showed nothing in the stretch and was beaten by 10 3/4 lengths.

Rajiv Maragh was the winning rider.

It was the first stakes win for Merry Meadow, a homebred for David Howe and William Parsons. A 4-year-old bay filly, Merry Meadow is by Henny Hughes out of the Allen's Prospect mare Merryland Monroe. It took her 11 starts to break her maiden, but she has now won five of nine since then. She now has a mark of 5-9-4 from 20 races and has earned $428,600.

Merry Meadow was cross-entered in the May 16 Skipat Stakes at Pimlico, as was Lion D N A. Lion D N A went on to win the $100,000 race.

"We entered her (at Pimlico) but we kind of wanted to run here all along because 6 1/2 furlongs is better for her," said winning trainer Mark Hennig. "If (the Vagrancy) had been a bigger field, we might have gone down there, but once we saw the weather, we decided to take a shot and pick up some graded black-type. We were just hoping she'd hit the board."

Merry Meadow paid $14 and $7.20 to place. Jane of All Trades paid $13.20 to place. The 2-6 exacta paid $128. There was no show wagering.

"My filly was so willing today," said Maragh. "She was really sharp and put me in a comfortable spot. We saved ground from the inside, and she finished strong when I tipped her inside."