SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY – Lady Sheila Stable’s Holiday Disguise stalked the opening pace before pouncing at the perfect opportunity to turn the tables on Divine Miss Grey and win Friday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct.
Breaking well under Irad Ortiz, Jr., Holiday Disguise sat just off the early pace set by Sounds Delicious through fractions of :22.41 and :44.99. While the even-money favorite Divine Miss Grey put pressure on the leader through the far turn, Holiday Disguise sat just behind and waited to make her move until straightening out for home. Hitting the top of the stretch, Sounds Delicious initially inched away from her foes, but Holiday Disguise’s strong closing kick in the final furlong closed the gap while also pinning Divine Miss Grey behind the leader, ruining her chance at attempting a pass. Continuing to stride powerfully, Holiday Disguise crossed the wire by 1 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:22.98 for the 7-furlong main track event.
“I got a perfect trip,” said Ortiz, Jr. “We didn’t think she was going to break that quick out of there, but she did, and it’s been hard to come from off the pace today, so I just decided to let her be there, and she was there for me at the end.”
Sounds Delicious crossed the wire in second, a head past Divine Miss Grey to her outside and a neck past Torrent to her inside. However, following the conclusion of the race, the stewards posted an inquiry into the stretch run between Sounds Delicious and Torrent. Upon review, the stewards felt that Sounds Delicious had interfered with Torrent in the stretch and disqualified Sounds Delicious from second to fourth. The remaining order stayed the same, with Picco Uno taking fifth, Berned sixth, and Anydayismyday seventh. Highway Star was scratched.
Holiday Disguise’s win was her fifth in her past six starts and now sports an overall record of 7-5-1-0 with $329,150 in career earnings. The 4-year-old daughter of Harlan’s Holiday broke her maiden at second asking here on April 9, 2017, then won three more times, the last two coming in state-bred stakes events. Most recently, the Linda Rice trainee was second here to Divine Miss Grey in the $150,000 Heavenly Prize Invitational Stakes.
“They went pretty fast early,” Rice said. “She ran terrific, and to get a win in a graded stakes race, it’s really great for her. She’s versatile. Our plan was for her to settle off of it for a bit, and Irad rode her beautifully. She’s great at 7/8, she’s OK at 6, and can probably run a mile well, so she’s quite versatile.”
Holiday Disguise returned $10.20 to win, $3.60 to place, and $2.70 to show. Divine Miss Grey brought back $2.90 to place and $2.30 to show, while Torrent paid $4.90 to show.