Vincent Scuderi's homebred Paulassilverlining picked up her second graded stakes victory of the year with a resounding, 3 ¼-length win in the Grade 3, $150,000 Vagrancy Handicap, giving jockey Jose Ortiz his fourth win on Belmont Park's Saturday card.
The 4-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper settled close behind West Coast Chick and Momameamaria, who pressed through the early quarter-mile in 22.24 seconds and the opening half in 45.25. Ortiz waited patiently for a seam to open between the leaders and, eyeing enough room on the outside of West Coast Chick at the top of the stretch, stormed Paulassilverling through her rivals to draw clear under the wire.
“I knew I had to break out of there and made [West Coast Chick] and [Momameamaria] go,” said Ortiz. “I then sat and then she went like nothing. It felt like in two jumps she was in front of them.”
Paulassilverlining, who won the Grade 3 Distaff over next-out Grade 2 Ruffian winner Cavorting, her first graded victory in more than 18 months, returned $2.40 as the overwhelming 1-5 favorite and completed the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:15.82.
“Jose gave her a perfect ride,” said winning trainer Michelle Nevin, who also teamed up with Ortiz to win Race 3 with Touchofstarquality. “What more could we want? Each step she shows us more and more with her development. We're not sure where we're going to go next but she definitely showed us a lot today.”
West Coast Chick finished second, ahead of Stormy Sky in third. Momameamaria and Blithely completed the order of finish.
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