ELMONT, NY – Uptowncharlybrown Stud’s Dixie Serenade blasted off down the stretch and blew up the tote board at 47-1 for her graded event breakthough in Sunday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Victory Ride Stakes at Belmont Park.
Breaking from post 6 under Mychel Sanchez, Dixie Serenade brushed briefly with the 6-5 favorite Mia Mischief before settling at the rear of the field. Meanwhile, the top betting choice recovered quickly and posted splits of :22.25, :44.63, and 1:09.75 while Classy Act applied consistent pressure to her outside. Still toiling at the rear as the field straightened for home, Dixie Serenade came under a full-out drive and began picking off tiring foes. Darting forward along the rail in the final furlong, Dixie Serenade was able to overtake Classy Act in the shadow of the wire and prevail by a neck in a final time of 1:16.57 for the 6 1/2-furlong main track event.
“She always has a good, hard, firm kick in the stretch,” said Sanchez, who like his steed broke his graded stakes cherry. “The plan was to let the speed go in the beginning and let her settle and hope to get a good trip with an ideal pace, which we did, and when I asked her, she just took off. She’s something. I knew I had some distance on the horses up front, and at the clip they were moving at, I knew I just had to wait for the long stretch. As soon as they opened up, I asked her, and she just took off. The way she runs, you have to drop in and save some ground, and I was along the rail the whole time. Thankfully, everything opened up today.”
Sower was unable to push forward after stalking in third for the entire race and crossed in the same position, only a 1/2-length behind Classy Act. Separationofpowers rallied seven-wide from the rear to take fourth by a neck over a fading Mia Mischief, with Spectator and Take Charge Paula behind by another neck and a nose, respectively. Norma’s Charm never threatened and completed the order of finish. Cosita Mia, D J’s Favorite, and Devine Mischief were scratched.
Dixie Serenade’s win came in her first start outside of the state of Pennsylvania, where she was bred. The 3-year-old daughter of Uptowncharlybrown improved her record to 11-4-4-1 with career earnings of $266,750.
“I was surprised that she won,” said winning trainer Edward Coletti, Jr. “I wasn’t going to be surprised that she hit the board. I was surprised that she came up the rail and ran the way she did. It was (Sanchez’s) decision (to come to ride her). I asked him if he wanted to come and he said, ‘Absolutely.’ So, we just went with what was working. He rides her well. He fits her great.”
Dixie Serenade returned $97.50 to win, $23.40 to place, and $10.20 to show. Classy Act brought back $7.50 to place and $5.80 to show, while Sower paid $5.70 to show.