Phipps Stable's homebred Fire Away overtook Monster Bea in the stretch and outkicked his rival by a length to post his first win in more than a year when he captured the $150,000 Artie Schiller Stakes Nov. 18 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Fire Away stayed well off the early fractions of :23.69 and :47.46 set by 80-1 shot Marengo Road in the mile test on the inner turf.
The 5-year-old by War Front rallied from seventh in the 10-horse field with Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez urging him out of the final turn. He took the lead in the final sixteenth and completed the distance in a final time of 1:35.32.
Trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, Fire Away won his first stakes race and first overall victory since a Nov. 16, 2016 allowance win at the "Big A."
"He had won here off of a layoff and after last year, we thought he was a horse that wanted to run really long but every time we got going with him, we had to ease up and we just never got into a good rhythm with him," said Robbie Medina, assistant to McGaughey. "But since Saratoga, we haven't had to miss anything with him. After he ran his last race at Belmont going long, Shug just said, 'Let's cut him back and make him finish.' "
Sent off at odds of 4-1, Fire Away paid $10.60 on a $2 win wager. He holds a 3-for-3 record at Aqueduct, and increased his career bankroll to $373,397. Fire Away is out of the multiple graded stakes-placed Unbridled mare Salute, a daughter of Hall of Famer Personal Ensign.
"He's a little bit better suited for running around turns here than maybe at Belmont," Medina said. "Plus, he's one of the rare War Fronts that likes a little give in the turf. He likes a little give and he can run far."
"The grass is a little softer on this turf course and I think he likes that," Velazquez added. "There's some give (to) the ground and he responded well to it. Shug and I talked about the distance before the race. He ran at a mile and three-eighths at Saratoga where he finished third and so they cut him back in his next start and he hung a little bit. At Belmont, he ran at a mile and sometimes horses need one race to get back into things, and today he responded kicking away at the end."
Hollywood Hideaway, coming off back-to-back grade 2 starts, placed in a stakes for the first time since the 2016 Woodstock Stakes at Woodbine for trainer Barbara Minshall.