Proctor's Ledge Makes Splash in Lake George

After earning a pair of graded stakes placings in Kentucky earlier this season, Proctor's Ledge did not let another opportunity pass her by July 21 at Saratoga Race Course.

Patricia Moseley's homebred engaged three other fillies in the early stretch of the $150,000 Lake George Stakes (G3T) before flashing a final gear none of her rivals possessed. The 3-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper  drew clear for a 1 3/4-length score in the 1 1/16-mile race on the Mellon Turf Course. 

Video: Lake George S. (G3T)

In securing the victory, Proctor's Ledge earned her first stakes win and landed trainer Brendan Walsh his first Saratoga victory as the Kentucky-based trainer entered the day 0-for-18 at the Spa. 

While Walsh scored a breakthrough Saratoga win, he gave a leg up to a jockey at the other end of that spectrum in multiple Eclipse Award winner Javier Castellano. Castellano, who will be inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame Aug. 4, delivered a flawless ride to secure a Saratoga black-type stakes win for the 101st time.

"It's huge for me," Walsh said. "Everything hadn't quite fallen into place the last few times, but she did it today, so I'll credit everybody. We finally got it right."

Early on, Proctor's Ledge raced in a close fifth, as Chubby Star led the field through a quarter-mile in :24.71. Considering Chubby Star had not raced better than fifth at first call in his previous three starts, the front-running approach under Ricardo Santana Jr. was a bit of a surprise, but he looked comfortable through a half-mile in :49.66. Coming out of the turn, Chubby Star was engaged by Victory to Victory on the outside while 3-1 favorite Defiant Honor and John Velazquez looked for room inside.

Castellano kept Proctor's Edge just off the slow pace early and then the pair rallied three wide into the stretch, taking command near the eighth pole. A pair of closers would pick up the minor awards as Hope Jones' Party Boat finished second and Peter Brant's Fifty Five finished third.

"I loved the way she did it; she got a slow pace; good position, and she finished good," Castellano said. "She was impressive. I never rode her before, but she did amazing. She was in a comfortable rhythm. She was in a good spot and turning for home, she kicked really well."

Proctor's Ledge completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.47 on firm turf, returning $14.20, $7, and $4.30 across the board. Party Boat paid $5.70 to place and $3.80 to show, and Fifty Five returned $3.60 to show.

Proctor's Ledge, racing on Lasix for the first time, entered off a runner-up finish in the Regret Stakes (G3T) June 17 on the Churchill Downs turf, where she finished 3 1/2 lengths behind Sweeping Paddy, who contended into the far turn before fading to last in Friday's Lake George. 

Walsh believes he has an improving filly on his hands.

"We might come back to run later in the meet. We'll leave her here, and see how she comes out of it, and go from there," Walsh said. "There's a lot of spots for a 3-year-old filly at the end of the year, but I think she's going to have a hell of a second half of the year, and I think she's going to be a better filly next year."

Kentucky-bred Proctor's Ledge is out of stakes-placed Arch mare Archstone, who has produced four winners from as many starters, a group that also includes stakes-placed Mission Driven.