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ELMONT, NY – For the second straight year, Alex Campbell Jr. homebred Mean Mary took advantage of being gifted an easy lead by taking the field gate to wire in Friday’s $750,000 New York Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park.
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The 5/2 favorite under Luis Saezas she broke from post 7, Mean Mary went straight to the front and walked the dog across fractions of :25.09, :50.31, 1:15.83, and 1:40.22 through the opening mile.
Though she drifted out late in the stretch, the Graham Motion trainee dug in to hold off a rallying Thundering Nights and win the 1 1/4-mile yielding inner turf route by a nose in 2:04.68.
“She just broke well and she loves to run free,” Saez said. “I was just so glad to be on her. She got a great trip, broke out of there so well. She always breaks pretty well, but today was better than ever. She controlled the pace. The track was a little soft, but she handled it. She tried pretty hard the whole time.”
My Sister Nat closed from last to take third by a neck over her Chad Brown stabemate Virginia Joy, while Harvey’s Lil Goil clocked in fifth.
Mutamakina, Magic Attitude, Civil Union, and Traipsing completed the order of finish.
Always Shopping, Antoinette, and Micheline scratched.
Mean Mary’s win was her fifth at the graded stakes level and improved her overall record to 10-6-2-0. A 5-year-old Scat Daddy mare, her career earnings now stand at $606,160.
“I was really anxious when I saw (Thundering Nights) closing so fast, but I had felt pretty confident to that point,” Motion said. “She was really running. She came out of the gate like a rabbit. I’d never seen her break like that. She really does love it. She’s such a cool filly.”
Mean Mary returned $7.40 to win, $4.80 to place, and $4.20 to show. Thundering Nights brought back $5.40 to place and $4.50 to show. My Sister Nat paid $6.90 to show.
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