ELMONT, N.Y. – Lady Shipman added another stakes victory to her career ledger when she surged down the stretch to post a 2 ¾-length victory in Sunday’s $100,000 License Fee for fillies and mares on the Widener turf course at a rainy Belmont Park.
The Kiaran McLaughlin-trained 4-year-old pulled away from Shrinking Violet at the half-mile mark with a half-length lead and hit the wire in 1:07.49 to pace a field of four. Irad Ortiz Jr. rode Lady Shipman to victory, which marked the 10th win in 15 career starts for the chestnut filly and a triumphant return to the United States after a seventh-place showing in Dubai. It was also her eighth stakes win.
“She was training great up to this race and ran great,” said Joe Lee, assistant to McLaughlin. “You never know how much a trip like that, shipping there and back, will impact it. But Kiaran’s program had her settled and we worked her when she ready. She was a complete pro in the paddock and was so calm and cool.”
Lady Shipman delivers, making the License Fee Stakes look like a breeze! https://t.co/V9Cb9ABW6n
— TVG (@TVG) May 1, 2016
Shrinking Violet led at the quarter-mile mark by a head to set the early fraction of 22.14 seconds. But Ranlo Investments LLC’s Lady Shipman soon took the lead and posted fractions of 44.37 and 55.54 before registering her first career win at Belmont.
“Her last race in Dubai, she kind of missed the break and I had to rush her early to get her involved and she still only lost by two lengths,” Ortiz said. “Today, when she broke it was clean and she was comfortable going all the way. She did it easy. I didn’t really notice any difference in her between the race in Dubai and today. She’s just a really talented horse.”
Added Lee: “Irad rode her perfectly. Her ride knows her really well and he had an idea of what he wanted to do and how fast he was going. ”
Zindaya, who left from the rail for trainer Chad Brown, rallied from fourth at the half-mile mark to finish in second. Shrinking Violet, a 5-1 morning-line choice for owner and trainer Wesley Ward, finished third, followed by Vicki’s Dancer. Momameamaria, Disco Barbie and Monster Sleeping were scratched.
Racing resumes on Wednesday and Belmont Park will feature five stakes races from May 6-8, including the $200,000 Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay, the $150,000 Grade 3 Westchester and the $150,000 Grade 3 Fort Marcy on Saturday.