George Hall wasn't terribly confident in his mare's chances in Sunday's G3 Molly Pitcher Stakes. Jockey Paco Lopez told him he would take Money'soncharlotte off the pace, but the starting gates opened and the 5-year-old daughter of Mizzen Mast was on the lead. As it turns out, Lopez played the race perfectly because Money'soncharlotte had plenty left to carry her through the Monmouth Park finish line in front by just over a length. The Kelly Breen trainee covered 1 1/16 miles on the fast main track in 1:42.80.
“We pointed for this,” said Breen. “Monmouth is her home track, and she's been training great. She's good right now, and when a filly is good, she's really good. Paco (jockey Lopez) told me before the race that he thought there was a lot of speed in the race and he wanted to take back. Okay. So then she's in front right after the break and I said to George (owner George Hall), ‘That's Paco taking back.' A great win.”
Money'soncharlotte jumped out to take the lead right away, skipping through a quick opening quarter in :23.78 but easing back a bit to cover the half mile in :47.82, a split of 24.04 seconds. She was pressured all the way around the oval by Miss Inclusive, with Carrumba in third at the rail and Power of Snunner alongside. Berhnik's Bank made a mid-race move to come three wide and challenge for second. Eskenformoney had broken a half-step slowly and was at the rear of the field in the early going.
Lopez kept Money'soncharlotte in front by a length as Carrumba and Power of Snunner made their moves, and gave his mare her cue rounding the far turn. At the head of the lane Money'soncharlotte had a two-length advantage and she was powerful down the stretch, only threatened by the late run of Eskenformoney. Money'soncharlotte had just enough left to cross the wire about a length in front, while Eskenformoney had to settle for second. Carrumba checked in third, and Power of Snunner was fourth.
“I planned on sitting second or third, but when no one else was going, we did,” Lopez explained. “She was cruising up front and when we got to the ¼ pole I took a look back and didn't see anyone coming. I asked her a little bit just to spurt away and she took off.”
Bred in Kentucky by Dr. Oscar Benavides, Money'soncharlotte was a $72,000 weanling at the Keeneland November sale, then a $135,000 yearling the following September. The Molly Pitcher is her first graded stakes victory, and improves her record to six wins, two seconds and two thirds from 20 starts for earnings of over $300,000.
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