Lucky Polly Returns From Ocala, Wins $100,000 Martha Washington
Saturday, August 8, 2020
    HALLANDALE BEACH - A few months on the farm obviously did Gary Barber’s Lucky Polly a world of good.

    After spending four months at trainer Mark Casse’s farm and training center in Ocala, the 3-year-old daughter of Lookin At Lucky broke through with a hard-fought victory in the $100,000 Martha Washington at Gulfstream Park.

    Lucky Polly, who hadn’t run since finishing off the board in the March 29 Sanibel Island, chased loose-on-the-lead Blue Mistress throughout the mile turf stakes for 3-year-old fillies before putting her nose down at the wire to narrowly capture her first stakes.

    “When COVID hit, everything was up in the air. We didn’t know what we were going to do with her,” Casse’s assistant, Nick Tomlinson, said of the decision to transfer the Kentucky-bred filly from Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training center in Palm Beach County, to Casse Training Center. “She was training up at our training center and she was training really well up there.”

    Lucky Polly ($10.80), who broke her maiden and finished a solid fourth in the Herecomesthebride prior to her disappointing finish in her most recent start, had five breezes in Ocala that had gotten her fit enough to just get up to defeat Royal Mistress by a nose.  Emisael Jaramillo rated Lucky Polly in second along backstretch behind a free-running Royal Mistress, who set fractions of 24.03 and 48.39 for the first half-mile. Lucky Polly closed in on the pace-setter heading into the far turn and drew alongside the 18-1 shot turning into the homestretch. Royal Mistress spurted away under Marcos Meneses at the top of the stretch but would come up just short of holding off Lucky Polly, who completed the mile distance over a firm turf in 1:35.42.

    “Even as a 2-year-old we had high hopes for her. She showed that she had talent, especially at Keeneland when she ran second and when she broke her maiden here,” Tomlinson said. “She ran a helluva race today.”

    Tournesol, who captured the Portofino Bay Stakes in her most recent start, closed along the inside to finish third, a length behind Royal Mistress.

    In the co-feature, Curtis Green’s Givemetwenty posted his first stakes victory, benefiting from a heated early pace to capture the $100,000 Not Surprising Stakes.

    The Ralph Nicks-trained son of Declaration of War gave Jaramillo his second stakes victory of the afternoon while winning the mile stakes in 1:33.71 in his stakes debut as the 8-5 favorite.

    Graceful Kitten and Monforte hooked up to contest the early pace past fractions of :23.03 and :46.73 for the first half mile while Jaramillo settled Givemetwenty a few lengths back in third along the backstretch. Monforte, who was seeking his fifth straight victory after coming off a 5 ½-month layoff, edged past a tiring Graceful Kitten on the turf into the stretch only to meet an outside challenge from Givemetwenty. Monforte fought back gamely under Edgar Prado but was unable to hold off the Nicks trainee, who scored by 1 ½ lengths. Natural Power finished third, another 1 ½ lengths back.

    Givemetwenty broke his maiden in his second career start in a $50,000 maiden claiming race in his turf debut at five furlongs. He successfully stretched out in his two most recent starts, including an optional claiming allowance score July 4.

Monorail Wins in Debut

    Newtown Anner Stud Farm’s 2-year-old homebred filly, Monorail, made an impressive debut, winning at a mile over the turf course by a neck in 1:36.67. A daughter of Into Mischief, Monorail is out of the 2016 Mother Goose winner Off the Tracks. Kelsey Danner trains Monorail . . . Jaramillo not only won the $100,000 Martha Washington and $100,000 Not Surprising, but also two others on the card. They were Just Kidding ($2.60) in the third race and R Man Joe ($3.20) in the fourth.
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