Mapp Hill took advantage of a fast early pace to close resolutely down the stretch and take the $75,000 Sugar Bowl Stakes easily at Fair Grounds on Monday, defeating Lead by Example and Cojet in the six-furlong race 2-year-olds (foals of 1999).
Carrying the royal blue and gold colors of Eugene and Laura Melnyk, Mapp Hill settled off the pace early under Larry Melancon, biding his time while Don Juan, Twining Dream, and Magic Bid dueled on the front end through fractions of :21.66 for the opening quarter-mile and :45.56 for the half. Cojet, getting a perfect trip just behind the top three, moved to the lead at the head of the stretch, but Mapp Hill made a seven-wide rally on the turn and caught Cojet easily, pulling away to win by 1 3/4 lengths. Lead by Example closed from last to get second, 5 1/4 lengths ahead of Cojet, with 2-1 favorite Balkan fourth. Final time for the six furlongs was 1.11.51 on a fast track.
Trained by Josie Carroll, who also conditions runner-up Lead by Example, Mapp Hill paid $31.20 for the victory. He came into the race off a fifth-place finish in the Display Stakes at Woodbine, where he had scored two earlier wins in maiden and allowance company. Mapp Hill is by leading first-year sire Valid Expectations out of Made for Satin, by Premiership. He was bred in Florida by Mockingbird Farm, the Ocala operation that leading breeder Harry Mangurian recently sold to the Melnyks. Mapp Hill was purchased by Eugene Melnyk for $150,000 at the OBS February sale of 2-year-olds in training from Wavertree Stables, agent. As a yearling, Mapp Hill was sold by Mockingbird for $40,000 to William Schettine at the OBS August sale.