The winner and runner-up from Monmouth Park’s May 26 Politely Stakes – plus the fourth-place finisher – will meet again at the New Jersey oval June 14, when a field of eight fillies and mares go postward in the $150,000 Eatontown Handicap (gr. IIIT).
The Politely winner, Social Queen, picks up the 118-pound high weight in the Eatontown, but spots just one or two pounds to the rest of the evenly-matched field. Trained by Alan Goldberg for Jayeff B Stables, she seeks her first graded win after eking out her recent score by a neck. In all but one of her four career victories, the 4-year-old daughter of Dynaformer has closed strongly from the outside.
The Christophe Clement-trained Medley chased the pace in the Politely, earned the lead in the stretch, and battled gamely as Social Queen closed to win by that narrow margin. Owned by Queen Elizabeth II, the 4-year-old daughter of Danehill Dancer raced in Europe before transferring to the U.S. last year. From three U.S. starts, she has an allowance score going one mile on the turf.
Trainer Tim Hills gave jockey Carlos Marquez Jr. a leg up aboard Dennis Federico’s homebred Maddy’s Heart in the Politely, and he expects a big effort from the duo this time around. Hills blames himself for their loss in the one-mile event, when Marquez rode the 4-year-old Lion Hearted filly for the first time and lost all the money in a fourth-place finish. He hopes the 1 1/16-mile Eatontown provides a better result.
“As it turned out,” Hills said, “my instructions to the rider turned out to be wrong for the way the race developed. It was the first time Marquez rode her, and I told him to take her back and save ground. But when she tried to move inside, she got bounced around going into the first turn. That made her mad, and she just took off. She went to the lead way too early, and then she had nothing left in the stretch.”
Maddy’s Heart will be going for her first graded stakes victory in the Eatontown. She won the Maryland Million Ladies Stakes last October at Laurel, when she stalked the pace and closed with a rush to be up by a neck. She also has an allowance victory on Monmouth’s turf course, scoring at the Eatontown distance last August.
$150,000 Eatontown Handicap (gr. III, race 9, approximate post 4:42 p.m.), 1 1/16 miles for older fillies and mares, turf
PP, Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Czarina's Girl, 116, Pedro Cotto, Jr.
2. Maddy's Heart, 117, Carlos H. Marquez, Jr.
3. Montecito, 117, David Cohen
4. Social Queen, 118, Jose Lezcano
5. Chestoria, 116, Daniel Centeno
6. Medley, 117, Joe Bravo
7. Miracle Moment, 116, Pablo Fragoso
8. Beatrix Kiddo, 116, Eddie Castro