Holiday Star wins the Sycamore Stakes for a second time.
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Holiday Star wins the Sycamore Stakes for a second time.
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Anne M. Eberhardt

Holiday Star Posts Sycamore Repeat

The 2014 victor came back to win again by the same margin in 2015.

Homebred Holiday Star defended his title in the $100,000 Sycamore Stakes (gr. IIIT) Oct. 15, galloping to a second consecutive win for Augustin Stable in the 1 1/2-mile turf test at Keeneland.

Last year trainer Graham Motion sent the bay gelding to Sycamore victory by half-length over Red Rifle. This season it was another half-length win, this time over 2-1 favorite Charming Kitten. The final time was 2:33.06 over the turf course rated firm, with St. Albans Boy completing the trifecta another half length back in third.

Jockey Edgar Prado was in the irons and gave the 5-year-old son of Harlan's Holiday a perfect ride, stalking third outside Patrioticandproud and Market Outlook all the way around before pouncing down the stretch. It was a second win of the season for Holiday Star, who also took the Cape Henlopen Stakes at Delaware Park in July and came off a runner-up finish to Da Big Hoss in the Aug. 26 John's Call at Saratoga Race Course. Da Big Hoss bypassed the Sycamore to run in the Oct. 31 Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).

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“Edgar called it right. He didn’t want to be too far off the pace and he wanted to be a little to the outside,” Motion said. “This horse is remarkably consistent.” 

Patrioticandproud showed the way through opening fractions of :25.95, :51.86, and 1:17.82 while shadowed by Market Outlook. Holiday Star, racing third along the five path, still had work to do after a mile in 1:44.17, but he mounted his bid as 1 1/4 miles went in 2:09.68, and took command in the stretch to hold off Charming Kitten in the final stages.

Holiday Star paid $9.20, $4.40, $3.20 while Charming Kitten brought $4.20 and $3.60. St. Albans Boy brought $7 as Thatcher Street, Divine Oath, Kalamos, Market Outlook, Aldous Snow, and Patrioticandproud completed the order of finish.

Bred in Pennsylvania out of the Deputy Minster mare Spring Star, Holiday Star improved his record to 6-3-2 from 19 starts for earnings of $311,019.