Derek Ryan has spent the last two years chasing the Triple Crown with Musket Man and Schoolyard Dreams, but things are pretty quiet for the Tipperary native this year as his 3-year-old prospects didn't pan out. So, instead, Ryan settled for taking the $75,000 Monmouth Beach Stakes on Sunday at Monmouth Park with Eric Fein's C C's Pal.
The 4-year-old filly entered the Monmouth Beach stakes-placed in eight races, but without a black-type win to call her own. Jockey Kendrick Carmouche put C C's Pal on the lead out of the gate and opened up a 3-length lead down the backside.
Pressure appeared in midstretch in the form of Sweet N Sour Nina and Successful Song. C C's Pal, racing along the rail, ceded the lead briefly but dug down to regain the advantage and get her nose down on the wire for the camera. Sweet N Sour Nina had another nose on Successful Song in this blanket finish.
"She's a flexible filly," Ryan said of C C's Pal. "You can send with her or sit right off the pace. She's an honest filly and really a trainer's dream. She's been stakes placed eight times and is definitely a filly that deserved to get that stakes win."
C C's Pal paid $9.60 as the fourth choice in the six-horse field. She now has four wins from 19 career starts and earnings of $313,386.
LYNCH GAMBLE PAYING OFF
Risking Peachtree Stable's Jove in a claiming race in March appears to be paying dividends for Cathal Lynch. That move made the 5-year-old horse eligible for starter allowance races and he took one of those in frontrunning style at Philadelphia Park in Monday's eighth race. Frankie Pennington put Jove on the lead out of the gate and they remained in front, four lengths clear, at the wire. Jove paid $4.20 to win.
Eddie Kenneally is also one to run a horse where it belongs. Cherry Included, a 3-year-old filly formerly owned by Tara Murty, is a case in point. The filly most recently ran second for a $12,500 claiming tag at Gulfstream Park in her first try against winners after breaking her maiden in her second career start. She reappeared in the eighth race at Churchill Downs on Thursday against $8,000 claiming stock in a main track sprint and was a handy winner by one and one-half lengths under Julien Leparoux. The risk of losing the horse comes with that strategy, however, and that's where the words "formerly owned" apply. Owner-trainer Lona Vasquez reached in and haltered Cherry Included, which paid $4.60 to win.
Darley Stable's Wall Dance gave scant indication that he would have any trouble breaking his maiden in his racing debut. The Eoin Harty trainee was sent off at odds-on while breaking from the outside stall in Arlington's second race on Wednesday. Jockey E.T. Baird engaged him in a duel for the lead, they took command around the far turn of this 6-furlong sprint, and then drew off to win by almost three lengths. Wall Dance, a 3-year-old colt, won by almost three lengths and returned $3.40 in the win slot.
Dominating Force sure looked a good thing, dropping from the maiden special weight ranks into those of claiming company, and so the wagering public sent Mike Doyle's 3-year-old filly off at even money in Wednesday's fourth race at Woodbine. She won, but not exactly in the fashion you'd expect from a horse this well-fancied. She broke awkwardly, trailed the field for the first half-mile, and then had to grind out a long drive under Emile Ramsammy to score by a neck. Dominating Force, which was not claimed, paid $4.00 to win.