In a battle to the wire, Holiday Disguise and Irad Ortiz Jr. edged even-money favorite Highway Star and Angel Arroyo in the $200,000 Critical Eye Stakes at Belmont Park. The win, which came in 1:36.12 for the mile, was the second of six stakes for New York-breds May 28; Big Apple Showcase Day in New York.
A fast pace set by Verdant Pastures (:22.21, :44.96), set the table for multiple graded stakes winner Highway Star and Holiday Disguise as they took over at the head of the lane. Highway Star had the early advantage through six furlongs in 1:09.96, but she was quickly joined by the winner and the pair battled to the line.
The Critical Eye, for older fillies and mares, is the co-feature with the Commentator Stakes for males later on in the program.
Holiday Disguise races for Sheila Rosenblum's Lady Sheila Stable and is trained by Linda Rice. Bred by Dr. William Wilmot and Dr. Joan Taylor, the bay filly is by Harlan's Holiday out of Thin Disguise, by Yes It's True. She is a half sister to Busher Stakes winner Midnight Disguise (Midnight Lute ).
Rice paid $220,000 for Holiday Disguise at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale of preferred New York-breds from Four Star Sales. She won the Distaff Handicap (G3) in April and was most recently third in the May 12 Vagrancy Handicap (G3).
In the first stakes race on the card, Michael Dubb's Feeling Bossy wired the field in the $125,000 Mount Vernon Stakes for older fillies and mares on the turf. The 5-year-old mare by Courageous Cat won her first stakes race while making her second start for Dubb and trainer Jason Servis.
Bred by Emily Wygod, Feeling Bossy was claimed from her and trainer Jimmy Jerkins last October. The bay then ran seventh in the Ticonderoga Stakes for state-breds to finish off 2017.
In the Mount Vernon, Feeling Bossy went right to the front, opened up a clear advantage early and had enough left to hold off odds-on favorite Fifty Five by a neck. The one mile went in 1:36.42.
Feeling Bossy is the fourth stakes winner for Courageous Cat, a grade 1 homebred for Wygod's parents, Martin and Pam. The son of Storm Cat stood his first two seasons at Lane's End in Kentucky and has stood at Questroyal North since the 2013 season.