Ebony Breeze Sweeps to My Juliet Victory

(from Philadelphia Park report)
Kinsman Stable's Ebony Breeze made a strong late run to catch pacesetting She Is Raging in mid-stretch and went on to win the $100,000 My Juliet Stakes by a length Saturday at Philadelphia Park.

It was the first win in almost a year for the classy 4-year-old daughter of Belong To Me. The sixth win of her career pushed her lifetime earnings to just under $500,000.

Breaking from the inside post in a field shortened to five by the scratch of probable favorite Harmony Lodge, Ebony Breeze sat third through the opening half-mile of the six-furlong stake. Winning jockey Herberto Castillo, Jr. kept the speedy She Is Raging and Balmy on his radar screen as they headed to the far turn. She Is Raging cut out a pace of :22 1/5 and :45 2/5 while Balmy sat within three lengths through that opening half. Heading to the three-eighths pole, Castillo asked his filly to pick it up. She responded with a slow, steady gain around the far turn.

As they turned for home, Castillo set Ebony Breeze down for the drive and she really kicked in. She closed determinedly on her front-running rival, finally getting to her between the eighth and sixteenth poles and then pulled away to win by a full length as they hit the wire. The final time was 1:10 3/5.

Ebony Breeze, a multiple graded winner out of the Bill Mott barn, had not won since last July when she took the Azalea Breeders Cup (gr. III) at Calder. She had also won the Florida Oaks (gr. III) last spring. During her five-race losing streak, she had been facing some of the best of her age division, having run second to the likes of Yell and Lady Tak.

Off as the heavy 3-5 choice, Ebony Breeze returned $3.20, 2.10, and 2.10. She Is Raging stayed on well for second as the 2-1 second choice and paid 2.20 and 2.10. Balmy, sent off at 4-1, lasted for third and paid the minimum 2.10 to show.

(Chart, Equibase)