NEW ORLEANS (January 16, 2016) – Mike G. Rutherford’s Stageplay put on a show in her sophomore debut, winning the Listed $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes with professionalism on Saturday afternoon at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. Winning for the third time in four starts, the Kentucky-bred daughter of Curlin broke well, tracked Cottonwood Stable’s Larry Jones-trained Midnight On Oconee and Hugh Robertson’s Lovable Lyss in third most of the way before taking the lead while three-wide at the top of the stretch and powering clear to a 1¼-length victory under jockey Florent Geroux. Midnight On Oconee, with James Graham aboard, fought back well to finish 4¾ lengths clear of Carl R. Moore Management’s Bret Calhoun-trained Jet Black Magic and Colby Hernandez, who passed a tiring Lovable Lyss in the final strides to pick up third.
Stageplay traveled the mile and 70-yard distance in 1:43.76 on the fast main track after stalking earlier fractions of 24.18, 47.89 and 1:12.60, before taking over and running a mile in 1:39.11. Sent off at 3-5, the 3-year-old gray filly returned $3.20, $2.20 and $2.10, earning $93,000 to boost her career bankroll to $213,324. The Silverbulletday was her second stakes victory following a win in the $84,000 Rags To Riches Stakes at Churchill Downs in November.
“She’s a very intelligent filly. Very smart,” Geroux said. “She broke very sharply from the gate and from there I just sent her along. She did the rest and dragged me to the lead and collected the win.”
“She’s a very talented filly,” Asmussen said. “I’m very fortunate to have her for Mr. Rutherford. She came in from GoldMark and they had the highest opinion of her and she’s definitely not disappointed.”
Midnight On Oconee returned $5.40 and $3.60, while Jet Black Magic returned $3.
“I got a little bit of a breather coming out of the turn,” Graham said. “Asmussen’s filly came at me and passed me, but I was getting back at her late. (Midnight On Oconee) is hardy. (Stageplay) had to run to beat me.”
“I had a great trip,” Hernandez said. “It set up exactly how we wanted and she ran a big race.”
The Silverbulletday order of finish was completed by Lovable Lyss, Northwest Tale, Annabelle and More Than Most.
Source: Fair Grounds