OZONE PARK, NY – Amerman Racing’s Penjade broke through for her first career stakes win, getting up in the final stride to steal Saturday’s $150,000 Forever Together Stakes at Aqueduct.
Off well from post 5 under Irad Ortiz, Jr., Penjade sat off the early pace set by Bishop’s Pond through opening splits of :25.50 and :50.49. Swinging wide off the far turn until she found a clear path, Penjade kicked away hard down the stretch along the outside. The Chad Brown-trained filly hit the wire first by a nose over Not Taken and My Impression in a final time of 1:43.60 for the 1 1/16-mile turf race.
“She ran great,” said Brown. “It was really close. I am proud of her the way she has developed this year. She has really improved a lot.”
The photo finish gave the slight edge to Not Taken over My Impression, while Elysea’s World was only another 1/2-length back in fourth. Bishop’s Pond faded to fifth, with Sweet Sandy and Winter completing the order of finish.
The win was Penjade’s fourth in five starts this year, all partnered with Ortiz, Jr. The daughter of Air Chief Marshal now has a career record of 16-5-6-2 with earnings of $360,061.
“Irad really deserves a lot of credit for her development,” Brown said. “He has figured out how to ride this horse and it took me a little while to figure out what her best distances would be and exactly her running style. I wasn’t positive about it, and Irad made the decision.”
Penjade returned $9.20 to win, $4.90 to place, and $3.20 to show. Not Taken brought back $15.40 to place and $6.40 to show, while My Impression paid $2.50 to show.