LAKE PLACID STAKES | PURSE: $150,000 | GRADE 2 | 3-YEAR-OLD FILLIES | 1 1/8 MILES
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Hungry Island parlayed her own talents and the misfortune of the 2-5 favorite Winter Memories, who suffered through a second straight eventful trip, to register a convincing 2 1/2-length victory over Kathmanblu in Sunday's $150,000 Lake Placid Stakes decided over a yielding course at Saratoga.
Winter Memories finished fourth, 3 1/4 lengths behind Hungry Island, in the scratched reduced field of seven 3-year-old fillies who contested the 1 1/8-mile Lake Placid.
Hungry Island, a homebred daughter of More Than Ready owned by Emory Hamilton, posted her fourth consecutive win and first graded stakes victory while benefitting from a patient ride by her regular jockey, Alex Solis. Rating kindly near the rear of the pack off a slow pace set by Bellamy Star, Hungry Island finished full of run down the center of the course once settling into the stretch to readily overtake the leaders near the sixteenth pole and win going away.
Kathmanblu prompted the pace, gained a short advantage approaching the furlong marker, but proved no match for the winner while outlasting Dynamic Holiday by a half-length to finish second.
Winter Memories had to be taken up sharply when blocked along the inside near the quarter pole before angling well wide to capture the Grade 2 Lake George in her previous start, could never really extricate herself from traffic during the opening mile of the Lake Placid.
Racing between horses during the early stages of the race, Winter Memories found herself locked in by Dynamic Holiday when seeking clearance to finally launch her rally through early stretch. Jockey Jose Lezcano eventually angled Winter Memories to the rail near the furlong marker, after which she failed to muster the necessary closing response once finally finding room to run along the fence.
A total of $127,795 of the $218,443 show pool for the Lake Placid was wagered on Winter Memories, resulting in show payoffs of $12.20 for Hungry Island, $12 for Kathmanblu, and $11 for Dynamic Holiday.
"Jose said she didn't like the ground, she wasn't comfortable, she was in tight all the way," said trainer James Toner when asked about Winter Memories's trip. "She doesn't like to be in between horses. They left the race on the turf and I was good with that. She won the Miss Grillo on soft ground."
Hungry Island, who returned $21.40 to win, completed the distance in 1:53.77 over the yielding course and may now be pointed to the Grade 1 Garden City at Belmont Park on Sept. 18,said trainer Shug McGaughey.
"I wish it hadn't rained but the ground had a little give to it when she broke her maiden," said McGaughey. "She's a good filly who has done everything we've wanted this year. We skipped the Lake George because I didn't want to rush her back off her last win at Belmont knowing we had this race, the Garden City and the Queen Elizabeth at Keeneland coming up. And if all goes well we might be able to make all three with her."