It wasn’t an easy-looking win, but odds-on favorite On Leave prevailed as expected in Saturday’s $100,000 My Charmer (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
A homebred racing for Jockey Club chairman Stuart Janney III, On Leave was no more than three lengths behind the pacesetting Gianna’s Dream, moved up three wide to engage that rival on the turn, and gradually wore down the pacesetter to win by a measured neck under Irad Ortiz Jr.
“I thought Irad rode a really good race,” trainer Shug McGaughey said. “I thought he had really good position. He knew the filly on the lead was backing it up a little bit so he went on after her earlier. He hand rode her at the end. He rode her well and I thought she did it well.”
Sent off at 4-5 in a field of nine fillies and mares, On Leave paid $3.60 after covering one mile on firm turf in 1:35.35. Second choice Stormy Victoria rallied on the inside to finish third, a neck behind Gianna’s Dream.
Winner of the Sands Point (G2) and $100,000 Riskaverse at three in 2016, On Leave added the $100,000 Perfect Sting and $150,000 All Along earlier this year, along with placings in the Goldikova (G2), Gallorette (G3), and $100,000 De La Rose. Her record now stands at 14-7-3-2, $801,820.
“We’ve had a good year with her. We’re going to race her next year,” McGaughey said. “We’ll give her a little time at Payson Park and see where she takes us.”
Bred in Kentucky, On Leave is a War Front half-sister to Grade 2 winners Ironicus and Norumbega, Grade 3 victors Hunting and Quiet Harbor, stakes winner Seal Cove, and the Grade 3-placed Minister’s Joy. All were reared by the multiple stakes-placed Meghan’s Joy, by A.P. Indy, who is also the second dam of Grade 3 winner Onus. On Leave descends from Broodmare of the Year Glowing Tribute.