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Strike It Rich Wires Boiling Springs

Waterville Lake Stable’s Strike It Rich took control right from the start and never looked back, winning the Grade 3, $150,000 Boiling Springs Stakes at Monmouth Park on Saturday afternoon by a length and a quarter. In the day’s other stakes action, Malibu Prayer provided Garrett Gomez a stakes sweep by taking the $100,000 Lighthouse Stakes.

Strike It Rich covered the mile and a sixteenth over firm turf in 1:40 1/5 and returned $8.40, $4.40 and $3 as the second choice in the field of 10 3-year-old fillies. Bay to Bay, the 9-5 favorite, charged hard in the lane to complete the $30 exacta and paid $3.20 to place and $2.60 to show. It was another length back to Triple Cream, who paid $4.20 to show.

“I thought the five horse [Island Time] would be on top, but I found myself on the lead,” said winning jockey Garrett Gomez. “She ran :46 last time and still ran on and this time she was able to go :48. We went slow early and fast late. She did everything I asked of her.”

After watching Strike It Rich score her fourth win in eight starts, trainer Christophe Clement said, “She’s an improving filly, a great horse. We’re not sure where she will go next, we focused on today.”

The Boiling Springs victory was the second consecutive turf stakes win at Monmouth for Strike It Rich, who won the Little Silver Stakes here on May 30. The daughter of Unbridled’s Song from the Dehere mare Belle of Perintown has now earned $185,755 for her connections.

In the Lighthouse Stakes, Malibu Prayer took the lead early, gave it up to Ask the Moon before retaking that foe on the inside just before the quarter pole and reporting home a 4 ½ length winner.

“I talked to Todd [trainer Pletcher] this morning and he told me to just put her someplace near the pace,” said Gomez. “Around the far turn, I let her go a little and she responded, handled the turn well and had plenty for the finish.”

Malibu Prayer, who paid $5.20, $3.80 and $2.60 as the second choice in the field of eight fillies and mares, covered the mile and a sixteenth in 1:43 2/5. Luna Vega rallied to pay $7.60 and $4.20 and completed the $51.60 exacta. It was another half-length back to race favorite Just Jenda, who paid $2.20 to show.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Malibu Prayer improved her lifetime mark to 5-3-2 from 11 starts. The daughter of Malibu Moon from the Grand Slam mare Grand Prayer has now earned $408,026 for owner Edward P. Evans.



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