Team Forster’s Brushed by a Star took her first graded stake in front-running fashion, going wire to wire under Corey Nakatani to win the $202,500 Molly Pitcher Stakes (gr. II) at Monmouth Park July 29 (VIDEO).
Sent off at odds of nearly 10-1, the 4-year-old daughter of Eddington ─Brush Hour, by Broad Brush, jumped out to the early lead while racing two-wide off the rail. Setting fractions of :24.23, :48.33, 1:12.46, and 1:37.52 through the opening mile in the 1 1/16-mile main track test, Brushed by a Star was not seriously challenged as she responded to urging from Nakatani to defeat Successful Song by 1 1/2 lengths in final time of 1:44.15.
The winner returned $21.20, $9.00, and $5.40, with Successful Song, who rallied in the stretch, paying $15.20 and $6.20. R Gypsy Gold, the 2-1 favorite under Javier Castellano who was coming off a solid 1 3/4-length win in the 1 1/16-mile Endear Stakes at Belmont Park July 4, finished third in the eight-horse field.
Trained by Grant Forster for Team Forster, Brushed by a Star was bred in Kentucky by Barry and Ken Donworth and Desmond Ryan. The filly, coming off an 11-length romp in the Iowa Distaff at Prairie Meadows, has now won five of 16 starts, with six placings and earnings of $304,087 for her owners, who purchased her for $10,000 at the 2009 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
"We gave her the winter off and she’s had a great 4-year-old season," Forster said. "She’s a big, long, strong filly and she’s come back even better this year. This is a great example of what a horse can do when they get their confidence back. She showed early speed as a young horse and as she’s gotten older and matured, she’s gotten better. Her game is going long on dirt. Obviously, it is a huge deal for us to win a race like the Molly Pitcher."
Nakatani said after he rode the filly for the first time in a seven-length triumph at Churchill Downs, he told Forster he thought she had the potential to be a special horse.
"I got to ride her again (in the Iowa Distaff)," he remarked. "I said, 'Grant, wherever you send her next, give me a ring and I’ll be there for you.'"