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Pontchatrain Prevails in Maddy

Form prevailed in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Senator Ken Maddy Stakes, as Gary Stevens guided 2-1 favorite Pontchatrain to a hard-fought three-quarter length victory in the 6 ½ furlong hillside test for fillies and mares three and up.  A 3-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by War Front, Pontchatrain negotiated the hillside in 1:12.25.

Trained by Tom Proctor and owned by Glen Hill Farm, Pontchatrain was a handy three-length winner of the 6 ½ furlong turf Unzip Me Stakes on Sept. 28, her only previous try down the hill.

“I got the lead earlier than I wanted to, I had a lot of horse,” said Stevens, who was packed five-wide crossing the dirt at the top of the lane.  “She was a little keener than usual today…She’s still a little green, she didn’t punch with me today.  She wasn’t focused at the top of the stretch." 

“She was distracted by this big crowd.  She’s a beautiful filly.  She’s still growing and I think she has a big future.  She has a big turn of foot.”

Pontchatrain paid $6.60, $4.00 and $3.00.           .

Winding Way, off at 6-1 with Rafael Bejarano, was carried wide turning for home by pacesetter Sky High Gal and Joel Rosario, which also resulted in the winner being carried wide as well.

When asked if being drawn on the outside of the 11-horse Maddy was a concern, Proctor responded:  “No.  Actually, that’s a good post.  The concern was when the horse on the lead (Sky High Gal) kind of ducked out turning for home, I was on the outside of her, but other than that, I actually thought my other filly (Purim’s Dancer, who broke from the rail) would come running when things opened up, but it didn’t happen.”

Owned and bred in-part by Leonard Lavin’s Glen Hill Farm, Pontchatrain picked up $60,000 for the win, hiking her earnings to $204,882.  She now has four wins and a third-place finish from six starts.

Winding Way finished a half length in front of Judy In Disguise and paid $6.80 and $5.40.

Judy In Disguise, off at 12-1 with Victor Espinoza, finished well and just touched Sky High Gal to be third by a nose.  She paid $6.80 to show.

 

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