Mulrainy Finds More in Tank, Takes La Lorgnette

(From track report)
Fashioning a surprising stretch charge, Wings of Erin Farm's Mulrainy came on in the closing strides to nail favored Winning Chance and capture Saturday's featured $191,375 La Lorgnette Stakes at Woodbine.

Mulrainy and jockey Chantal Sutherland registered a neck score in a nifty 1:44.04 in the 1 1/16-mile affair for 3-year-old fillies. Lady Shari closed along the rail for third, 1 1/4-length behind.

The La Lorgnette didn't lack for pace, as Jealous Forum and jockey Patrick Husbands set some blistering fractions, 45.58 for the half and 1:10.26 for six panels. Meanwhile, Mulrainy, tucked in second the entire trip, was sent outside to challenge the leader around the far turn.

Winning Chance and jockey Slade Callaghan, who had been in fourth down on the rail, suddenly slipped through on the inside of Jealous Forum. As the field turned for home, Winning Chance quickly opened a couple of lengths and appeared to be in command. But Sutherland asked Mulrainy for some more and the daughter of Star de Naskra summoned a determined late kick in deep stretch to get the job done.

"I was thinking how mad I was that Patrick Husbands (on Jealous Forum) had let Slade Callaghan (aboard Winning Chance) through on the rail," said a relieved trainer Tommy O'Keefe, recalling the far turn move. "I've been proud of her (Mulrainy) since day one. You couldn't get a nicer filly. She's just all heart. Gives you 100% all the time."

Mulrainy hasn't been able to muster the kind of respect she deserves based on her race record. She went postward an 8-1 shot today, the second-longest price on the board. But her victory certainly has thrust her into the forefront for divisional honors. She'd come into the La Lorgnette as the third-richest filly in the field with $371,701. Two starts back, she'd captured the seven-furlong Duchess Stakes and has been stakes-placed on six other occasions during her two seasons of campaigning.

"She ran like a champ," said Sutherland. "At the three-eighths pole I wasn't sure if she had a second wind but in the stretch she had it. She was pretty amazing today. Mulrainy is really funny. You can never tell how much she's got left."

Purchased privately by O'Keefe for owner Les Roberts (Wings of Erin Farm) after she failed to make her reserve at a yearling sale, the dark bay filly was supposed to be named Mulrany, for a strand (beach) in the west of Ireland. Somehow, an 'i' got added in the application process – thus Mulrainy.

Mulrainy, who picked up a purse of $114,825 to push her career bankroll to $486,526, paid $18.50, $9.80 and $4.70. She combined with Winning Chance ($3.90, $2.70) for a $89.30 (9-2) exacta. With Lady Shari ($4.60 to show) the trifecta returned $549.40.

(Chart, Equibase)