Gold Standard Racing Stable’s Hoosier Philly hinted that she was coming back to form with a runner-up effort in the Black-Eyed Susan (G2). The Tom Amoss filly confirmed it with a front-running romp in Saturday’s $172,400 Monomoy Girl Overnight S. at Ellis Park.
Under regular pilot Edgar Morales, the 1.25-1 second choice glided straight to an easy lead, gaining an insurmountable tactical advantage over 0.65-1 favorite Wet Paint. Hoosier Philly was in her comfort zone through fractions of :25.23, :48.86, and 1:13.16, with no pressure in sight. Wet Paint, as a deep closer, had virtually no chance of catching her if the pacesetter quickened from there.
Hoosier Philly did just that. The daughter of Into Mischief reeled off her penultimate furlong in :11.43 to open up by 4 1/2 lengths, and she coasted in deep stretch to finish the mile in 1:36.39.
Wet Paint delivered her usual late kick to reduce the margin to 3 1/2 lengths, while all alone in second. There was a 5 1/4-length gap back to third-placer Flamand, followed by Champagne Calling and Sabra Tuff. Never Tell Patti was scratched.
Hoosier Philly had not won since her smashing juvenile season, when she went 3-for-3 at Churchill Downs. Her dominant victories in last fall’s Rags to Riches S. and Golden Rod (G2) made her the early favorite for the Kentucky Oaks (G1), and connections were possibly toying with the Kentucky Derby (G1) trail. Those hopes were dashed when she was well beaten in both of her New Orleans preps, finishing third in the Rachel Alexandra (G2) and fourth in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2).
Lacking sufficient points to make an oversubscribed Kentucky Oaks field, Hoosier Philly headed to Pimlico for the Black-Eyed Susan and showed a glimmer of her former self. The gray traveled well on the front end and yielded only to the impressive winner, Taxed. Back in business at Ellis Park, Hoosier Philly set herself up for a productive second half of the season.
“She’s such a nice filly and won very comfortably today,” Morales said. “She was able to get the lead easily by herself but anytime I’d ask her to go, she’d immediately respond.”
Amoss recognized that the race shape was in her favor.
“She got away with a very easy opening quarter-mile, but quickened up well in the lane when Edgar asked her,” Amoss said. “I’m so thrilled for the owners. Bill and Mary Stone are from across the river in Evansville, Indiana, and Rod Ratcliff held a big role at several racetracks in Indiana. It was great to see her return to the winner’s circle and thrilled everyone could be here celebrating with us today.”
Hoosier Philly’s scorecard now stands at 7-4-1-1, $644,510, with all of her wins coming in her home state of Kentucky. Bred by Candy Meadows, she sold for $510,000 as a Keeneland September yearling. Her dam, Tapella, is a daughter of Tapit and unbeaten 2012 Sunland Park Oaks romper Princess Arabella.
Thus Hoosier Philly is bred on the same Into Mischief/Tapit cross as division leader Pretty Mischievous, heroine of the Kentucky Oaks and Acorn (G1).
Tapit is also the broodmare sire of the ensuing stakes winner on the Ellis card, Shortleaf Stable’s homebred Vivar. Trained by Robbie Medina and ridden by Julien Leparoux, the 8.10-1 chance prevailed in a blanket finish in the inaugural $160,700 Chorleywood S. on turf.
Vivar was able to lie closer to the pace on the stretch-out to 1 1/4 miles, and the Cairo Prince colt battled to a head decision over Therapist. Early leader Hidden Stash hung tough another neck away in third, while Tiz the Bomb was a traffic-riddled fourth.
By clocking 2:04.20, Vivar earned his first stakes win and improved his record to 13-4-2-0, $357,434.