Tar Heel Mom
set all of the fractions in the Grade 2, $150,000 Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack on Saturday to earn her first graded stakes victory.
Away sharply under leading jockey
Ramon Dominguez, the 9-5 favorite led through a half of 44.93 and rebuffed a
challenge from Hour Glass at the top of the stretch to prevail by 2 ½ lengths.
It was an additional two lengths back to Matchless Orinda in third, with
Justwhistledixie and Thunders Dove completing the order of finish. Strut the
Canary was scratched.
If she broke sharply, my
intentions were to try to get the jump on the five horse (Matchless Orinda),
said Dominguez. Unfortunately we ended up going a little quicker than I first
was anticipating, and as a result she was getting tired the last part. It was a
pretty hard race for her because the fractions were so quick the first part, but
the track seems to be speed-favoring today and I was able to take advantage of
Tar Heel Mom returned $5.60 for a
$2 win wager, improved her record to 7-5-3 from 19 starts, and earned $90,000 to
boost her bankroll to $457,192. Her final time for the seven furlongs was
1:24.51 over a main track listed as muddy.
The 5-year-old mare entered the
seven-furlong Distaff off three straight placings in graded stakes at Gulfstream Park, having finished third
in the Grade 3 Sugar Swirl and second in both the Grade 3 Hurricane Bertie and
the Grade 2 Inside Information. Previously the winner of the In Her Glory Stakes
at Aqueduct last November, Tar Heel Mom has now won three of four starts on the
Big As main track.
Its great for the people who
have her to win a Grade 2, said winning trainer Stanley Hough from Florida . She had been
running against some really nice fillies at Gulfstream and in all three of her
previous graded stakes tries, she had run quite well. She had also run pretty
well over off tracks before, so I didnt think that would hurt her.
Hough conditions Tar Heel Mom on
behalf of owner Alex Rankin, who bred the daughter of Flatter in Kentucky for his Upson
Hough, who also teamed up with
Rankin to win Saturdays Boynton
Beach at Gulfstream with Sea Road , is unsure
where Tar Heel Mom might make her next start.
It will be in New York , but were going
to give her a little time off, said Hough.