SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY – Repole Stable and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Vacay rallied impressively down the lane under Irad Ortiz Jr. to capture Sunday’s $100,000 Key Cents, a 6-furlong sprint for New York-bred juvenile fillies at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, the dark bay daughter of Not This Time arrived at the Key Cents from a 1 3/4-length debut score in a state-bred maiden special weight on October 16 contested over a sloppy and sealed Belmont Park main track.
Chasing Cara, a maiden under Dylan Davis, commanded the early lead from the inside post through an opening 1/4-mile in 22.25 seconds over the fast main track, while under close watch by the Joel Rosario-piloted Rossa Veloce in second.
Rosario pressed the issue aboard Rossa Veloce into the turn with the half-mile clocked in 45.89 as Party At Page’s and Vacay lined up their bids outside of rivals. Rossa Veloce took command through the turn but Vacay was rolling impressively down the center of the track and strolled to a 5 1/2-length victory in a final time of 1:11.69.
Vacay lunged at the start of her winning debut, but Pletcher said the filly was impressive in acquiring her first stakes win.
“I thought it was a very professional performance on her part,” said Pletcher. “She didn’t break great in her first start but broke better today. She finished up the way you would want one to. She’s a quality filly and it looks like she’ll handle more distance as well.
“We always liked her quite a bit,” added Pletcher. “She gives me the impression she’s going to improve even more when we stretch her out a little bit.”
Ortiz Jr. said he felt confident throughout.
“She’s a nice filly,” said Ortiz Jr. “She looks like she can go a little further. I was trying to hold her position and as soon as we were turning for home, I asked her, and she took off.”
Rossa Veloce stayed on strong to complete the exacta by 1 3/4 lengths over Party At Page’s, followed by Chasing Cara and Shanes Pretty Lady.
Rosario said he had a good trip aboard the hard-trying Rossa Veloce.
“She came out of the gate well,” said Rosario. “I was able to sit next to the one-horse, who went to the lead. She did everything right, it just looked like we were second-best. The horse who won just rolled by us, but my horse ran great.”
Bred by J Stables, Vacay is out of the stakes winning Belgravia mare Florida Sun and was purchased for $100,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Preferred New York Bred Yearling Sale. She paid $5.10 to win as the mutuel favorite.