Highway Star cut the corner into the stretch and prevailed over a wide-trip Bar of Gold in the $245,000 Ruffian (G2), winning by a half-length on a sloppy Belmont Park track. Rodrigo Ubillo trains the homebred 4-year-old filly for Chester and Mary Broman Sr. and Angel Arroyo was up as the New York-bred daughter of Girolamo pocketed her fourth overall stakes tally.
Winner of the April 9 Distaff H. (G3) in her previous outing and the Go For Wand (G3) in early December, Highway Star notched her first stakes victory outside Aqueduct. The chestnut has now captured five of her last six starts and earned $614,000 from an overall 10-7-0-1 record.
Off as the 5-1 fourth choice among five distaffers, Highway Star closely stalked along the inside as Indulgent showed the way through splits in :23.84 and :48.11. The pacesetter came under pressure as she drifted out entering the stretch, allowing Highway Star plenty of room to accelerate up the rail to a short lead, and Bar of Gold was forced widest of all into the straightaway.
Highway Star dug in gamely when challenged, repelling the 6-5 favorite all the way to the wire. Bar of Gold wound up 2 ¼ lengths clear of High Ridge Road in third, and Verve’s Tale and Indulgent came next under the wire.
The winner completed the one-turn mile in 1:39.05.