Itsmyluckyday Not to Be Denied in Salvatore Mile
July 06, 2014 03:13am

Breaking from lucky number post seven, Itsmyluckyday romped to victory in the Grade 3, $150,000 Salvator Mile at Monmouth Park on Sunday.

Making his fourth start as a 4-year-old, Itsmyluckyday turned heads as a sophomore with a win in the Grade 3, Holy Bull at Gulfstream, as well as second-place finishes in the Florida Derby and Preakness Stakes. Earlier this year, the colt came off a nine-month layoff after recovering from an injury sustained in last year's Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth.

Bradester grabbed the lead early, followed closely by Valid to his outside, to set a pace of :23 2/5 and :47 flat. Itsmyluckyday, with Paco Lopez in the irons, settled just off of the pace alongside Raging Daoust and Dawly.

Itsmyluckyday made a bid from three-wide in the middle of the turn. Itsmyluckyday tapped the six furlongs in 1:10 flat and drew off to win by about two lengths over Bradester. Valid held for third, while Don Dulce got up for fourth.

The final time for one mile was 1:34 4/5.

"I took a hold in the first two furlongs and at the half- mile pole I knew I had a lot of horse," said Paco Lopez, the winning rider. "I just let him gallop. He’s a really amazing horse and very easy to ride."

The coupled entry Stormin Monarcho and Spa City Fever were scratched, as well as the number 9, Big Screen.

Trained by Edward Plesa, Jr., Itsmyluckyday is a 4-year-old colt by Lawyer Ron, out of the Doneraile Court dam Viva La Slew. Bred in Kentucky by Liberation Farm and Brandywine Farm, the winner improves his record to eight wins, three seconds and a third from 17 career starts and has broken the $1 million barrier in total earnings.

 “This was another test he passed with an A+. He didn’t exactly have things his way today. He was behind a wall of horses and didn’t panic, just waited. He was three-wide around the entire turn and still managed to kick away in the lane. He kind of pulled himself up in the end.

“We’ve been building with him each race. This was his toughest test since his first race back when he faced Palace Malice (Gulfstream Park Handicap on March 8, 2014). This was a quality field and he handled everything well," Plesa said after the race.

“He’ll be back for the Monmouth Cup (Grade 2, $200,000, 1 1/8 miles, here on July 27), barring anything unforeseen.”

Itsmyluckyday was purchased for $110,000 at the March 2012 Ocala Breeders' Sale. The winning owners are Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa.


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