OZONE PARK, N.Y. – After completing a 2015 campaign that included in a quartet of graded stakes races, highlighted by a half-length victory in the Grade 2 Lake George at Saratoga Race Course, Mrs McDougal made her 2016 debut a successful one, winning the second running of the $100,000 Plenty of Grace Stakes for fillies & mares 4-years-old and up on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Breaking from post position 10 with Jose Ortiz in the irons, the Chad Brown trainee was comfortably placed in third position along the rail behind Harp N Halo, who led the field of 11 through opening quarter-mile fractions in 24.17 seconds and a half in 48.08.
As the field reached the quarter-pole, Means Well traveled three-wide to briefly surpass the leader while Mrs McDougal was given her cue at the three-sixteenths pole extending down the lane from Strike Charmer in the late stretch to earn the victory by a length.
Her winning time for the one mile distance was 1:35.65. She returned $4.30 for a $2 win wager.
“Breaking out of there, we were great,” said Ortiz. “I put her in the game in a little bit. I knew that Kendrick [Carmouche, aboard Harp N Halo] was going to go, but it was perfect. That other horse [Means Well] went with him and I sat right behind them, then at the three-eighths pole I angled myself out a little bit and when my filly saw the clear, she took off by herself. I waited and waited until we got into the three-sixteenths pole and I made her switch leads and asked her to go. She gave me a good run today.”
With the victory, her fourth from eight career starts, Mrs McDougal earned her seoncd stakes win while boosting her career earnings to $289,800 for owners Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren Jr.
“I think she got a great trip, perfect setup,” said Cherie DeVaux, assistant to winning Brown. “She got to sit behind the speed and kick clear in the end. It’s nice to have her comeback, her first start of the year and she got the ideal setup. She’s developed into a really nice filly. [She’s] Really strong, gotten a lot bigger, and looks fantastic.”
Following Strike Charmer in second were Miss Atomic Bomb, Means Well, Mah Jong Maddnes, Selenite, Angel Vision, Busy Busy Busy, Coming Attraction, and Harp N Halo competing the order of finish.