MOLLY PITCHER S. | PURSE: $200,000 | 3-YEAR-OLDS & UP | FILLIES & MARES | GRADE 2 | 1 1/16 MILES
Majestic River proved her affinity for Monmouth Park July 27, rolling to a third consecutive victory over the New Jersey oval and picking up her first graded stakes score in the $200,000 Molly Pitcher Stakes.
Three-for-three on the main track at Monmouth, the 4-year-old daughter of A.P. Indy aced the 1 1/16-mile Molly Pitcher after winning the June 28 Lighthouse Stakes at the same distance. She earned that initial stakes victory off a 7 ¼-length blitz in a May 25 allowance going a mile and 70 yards for trainer Todd Pletcher, her first start at the Jersey shore.
Fourth choice at 9-2 in a field of seven older fillies and mares, Majestic River raced up without urging to prompt the pace set by 3-2 favorite Natalie Victoria, who opened a quarter in :24.25 seconds and a half in :47.72 seconds. Jockey Rosie Napravnik had the front-runner in her sights rounding the turn through three-quarters in 1:11.43, and picked off the tiring leader with ease turning for home.
From there to the wire it was Majestic River all alone, who sailed clear while running a 1:36.36 mile en route to a 2 ½-length win. Montana Native got up between foes to earn second, while Lucky Rag Doll made a late gain to claim third, a half length back.
"The race played out perfect. I got a great setup and she ran awesome. I had plenty of horse in the stretch," Napravnik said.
Final time was 1:43.11 on the fast main track. The winner carried 118 pounds.
"She was a little more rank than we thought she would be, but when the speed inside scratched we told Rosie we'd have one horse to track [Natalie Victoria]," said Anthony Sciametta, Pletcher's assistant. "We told Rosie, 'When it's time to go, just go.' [Majestic River] is right, right now; she's on the improve, she's been training well. So I'm not totally surprised [at the margin of victory]."
Majestic River returned $11.80, $5.20, and $3.60 while Montana Native paid $4.60 and $3.60. Lucky Rag Doll brought $8.40, while Zucchini Flower, Triple Arch, Made Up, and Natalie Victoria completed the order of finish. Blue Violet and Swinger's Party scratched.
Bred in Kentucky by Briland Farm, Robert Mitchell and Stacy Mitchell from of the Alphabet Soup mare Tempus Fugit, Majestic River was purchased for $425,000 by Bolton from the 2011 Fasig-Tipton New York Saratoga select yearling sale when consigned by Bluewater Sales, agent. The Molly Pitcher victory improved her record to five wins and a second from eight starts and earnings of $253,138.