Waterville Lake Stable’s Strike It Rich forged an easy lead at the start and never looked back, rolling to a 1 1/4-length score in the $157,000 Boiling Springs Stakes (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) for 3-year-old fillies June 26 at Monmouth Park.
Strike It Rich entered the 1 1/16-mile turf race with a two-race win streak, including a similar front-running victory in the May 30 Little Silver Stakes at Monmouth, the local prep for the Boiling Springs. This was her graded stakes debut. Garrett Gomez was aboard for trainer Christophe Clement.
Breaking from post 4, Strike It Rich sprinted to an early lead and went unchallenged through moderate splits of :24.09, :48.12, and 1:11.60. She had a sizeable lead through the backstretch, with Island Time her closest pursuer, and Triple Cream, Cosset, and In the Rough racing in the next group.
Strike It Rich came off the turn still going strongly and took a two-length lead into the stretch. She was never seriously challenged in the final furlong, hitting the wire comfortably ahead in a final time of 1:40.25 over the firm turf course. Bay to Bay, the 9-5 favorite, who entered off a victory in the American 1000 Guineas, rallied belatedly on the outside to grab the runner-up spot under Alan Garcia, one length ahead of Triple Cream and Eddie Castro.
"She broke running," said Gomez, who won both stakes at Monmouth on the afternoon. "I thought (Island Time) would be on top, but I found myself on the lead. She ran 46 and change last time and still ran on and this time she was able to go 48. We went slow early and fast late. She did everything I asked of her. I never hit her.”
Strike It Rich scored for the third time in five starts this season and improved to 4-0-1 overall from eight starts. The daughter of Unbridled's Song—Belle of Perintown, by Dehere, has now earned $185,755. She was bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings.
“She’s an improving filly, a great horse," Clement said. "Rudy Wolfendale has done a wonderful job with her, keeping her relaxed and quiet. It was definitely great to win a grade III event for Waterville Lake Stable. We’re not sure where she will go next, we focused on today.”
The winner paid $8.40, $4.40, and $3. The exacta (4-10) returned $30 and the trifecta (4-10-3) was $67.60.