Carson Hollow, a 3-year-old daughter of Carson City trained by Richard Dutrow, remained undefeated in four career starts when she ran away with the Prioress Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park on Saturday.
Ridden by John Velazquez, Carson Hollow set fast early fractions of :22, :44 3/5, and :56 1/5 while being pursued first by A New Twist and then by Drippingindiamonds, the 5-2 favorite who had to be steadied early by jockey Jerry Bailey before regaining her composure to challenge rounding the turn. Completing the six furlongs in 1:08 3/5 while racing on the bleeder medication Salix for the first time, Carson Hollow paid $10.60, $6.50, and $3.90. Spring Meadow closed in the stretch to get second, two lengths behind the winner, and returned $6.50 and $3.60, while Proper Gamble took third and paid $3.00.
Owned by a partnership, Carson Hollow was bred in New York by Patricia Staskowski. In her career debut, the filly dominated an Aqueduct maiden special field restricted to state-breds, romping to a front-running 18 3/4-length triumph while getting the seven furlongs in a snappy 1:23 1/5. Following an allowance win, in which she set the pace, the filly led from start to finish to win the restricted Bouwerie Stakes previous to the Prioress.
"I got the `feel' today," said Dutrow, who got his first grade I win as a trainer. "There is no way in the world I thought she would get the lead; I thought we would have to sit off the pace a little bit. She just came out running, and things went our way today. Having her fresh had to have helped. She does everything so easily. They had to come beat her, and they can't at this point. I wasn't confident that she would run like this. I was confident that she would run a good race. To run against these horses when she hadn't beaten anything at all, we were taking a shot. I ran her in the New York- bred race (Bouwerie) because it was going to be her first race at Belmont. I didn't want her first race here to be a real tough race. I figured that if New York-breds were going top beat her on this track, and then we didn't belong in this race. She has already run
seven-eighths three times and she has looked so impressive doing it. She's going to be out there running, man she's got a lot of talent
"She is so fast," Velazquez said. "She broke like a rocket today. She's gotten better the more she's raced. She broke a little slow in her first race, but now she breaks like one of the fastest horses I've ever ridden. You can look at her: she was comfortable. She was just playing. When I called on her, she responded."
"She ran huge," jockey Gary Stevens said of runner-up Spring Meadow. "We had a great trip. She had a target, but unfortunately, the target didn't stop."
"I've got no excuse," said Jerry Bailey, jockey of Drippingindiamonds, who finished last. "She had every chance. We were in position, but she was empty when I asked her."