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OCEANPORT, NJ – After getting a win with Dr Post in the Monmouth Cup (G3), trainer Todd Pletcher followed up that victory with another one at Monmouth Park with Graceful Princess in the Molly Pitcher (G3).
A daughter of 2011 Horse of the Year Havre de Grace, the bay 5-year-old mare improved on her fifth-place finish in her last start in the Obeah Stakes to win by 3/4 of a length.
Fourth out of the gate, Graceful Princess settled in behind Mrs. Danvers, Our Super Freak, and Bajan Girl early, with jockey Joel Rosario content to sit just off the early pace.
Mrs. Danvers stretched her lead out to 2 lengths after the first 1/2 with the first four horses maintaining their positions through the backstretch. Coming into the final turn, Our Super Freak ran by Mrs. Danvers, taking a short lead going into the stretch.
As Mrs. Danvers faded, Our Super Freak and Bajan Girl battled for the lead, with Graceful Princess running on their outside, finally catching both in the last half of the stretch.
As they ran three across, Graceful Princess was able to find another gear and power past Bajan Girl and a fading Our Super Freak to win in a final time of 1:41.67 for the 1 1/16-mile Molly Pitcher.
Trainer Todd Pletcher was pleased to see Graceful Princess get a win Saturday. “She’s had a couple of poor performances on off tracks so we weren’t sure (about her), other than she came back and trained well. She’s always been a filly who trained like she was capable of doing something like this, so it’s great to see her put it all together. She’s arguably one of the best-bred fillies on the planet (by Tapit out of 2011 Horse of the Year Havre de Grace). For her to win a race like this is huge.”
Jockey Joel Rosario knew he had plenty of horse in the Molly Pitcher. “It’s always nice to ride for Todd. I don’t think she has run quite this well before but today she was ready and she won a tough race and proved she was ready for this kind of company. The pace was perfect. I found a spot outside and she was clear and it looked like she liked being there. After that it was all her. She looked like she was enjoying herself out there. It was a very good performance. I came into today thinking I had some chances (he swept the three Grade 3 stakes on the card, winning the WinStar Matchmaker, the Monmouth Cup, and the Molly Pitcher) but you don’t know. You have to have the right horses.”
Bred and owned by Whisper Hill Farm, Graceful Princess is by Tapit out of 2011 Horse of the Year Havre de Grace, by Saint Liam. The Molly Pitcher is her first win in 3 starts in 2021 for a career record of 3 wins in 13 starts and $261,474 in career earnings.
Graceful Princess paid $31.00, $10.80, and $6.20. Bajan Girl paid $4.60 and $3.40. Our Super Freak paid $3.40 to show.
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