Team Penney Racing's Stonesintheroad surged to the front and never relinquished the lead, wiring the six-horse field by 3 3/4 lengths to win the fifth running of the $100,000 Franklin Square for New York-bred 3-year-old fillies on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The daughter of Bustin Stones looked sharp from the gate in her stakes debut, with jockey Rajiv Maragh sending her to an uncontested lead after undefeated favorite Forgotten Hero was pinched at the break.
Stonesintheroad posted a quarter-mile in 22.91 seconds and the half in 46.12 with Flush staying in close pursuit on the fast main track.
Stonesintheroad, who went three-quarters in 57.97, sustained her lead in the stretch, completing six furlongs in a final time of 1:10.66 while Wadadli Princess ran down Flush in deep stretch and edged her by a nose for second.
Stonesintheroad, off as the 9-5 second choice, returned $5.90 on a $2 win bet. The Jeremiah Englehart trainee improved to 3-for-3 in her career, with the homebred increasing her bankroll to $123,200.
“This is a very quick filly,” Englehart said. “She reminds me a lot of her dad [Bustin Stones] and watching her dad run. She's quick out of there and she can take it to them early. In her first start, she sat off the early leader and passed her. She's very versatile and she really enjoys what she's doing.”
Maragh, who has been aboard for all of Stonesintheroad's starts, won his second race on the card.
“I'm very high on this horse, and from the mornings to the races, she's shown us a lot of ability,” Maragh said. “We think she can be a special sprinter so far, so I'm going to stick with it.
“She's really fast naturally, and she got to the lead and got relaxed on the lead,” he added. “She wasn't over-pursuing it, so I was really happy. It felt like she was in a good flow and was going to have something left to finish, and she did.”
Wadadli Princess, a Drosselmeyer filly owned and bred by Ginellen Racing, is 1-2-0 in four career starts and has finished first or second in her last three races for trainer Patrick Kelly.
“She broke good. I expected they would go a little faster up front, but she came running and she gave me a great race,” said Wadadli Princess jockey Jose Lezcano. “The distance isn't a problem for her.”
Maiden Beauty and Quietude, both Gold members of the NYRA Starter Loyalty Program, finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Forgotten Hero, the 8-5 favorite, rounded out the order of finish.
Live racing returns Sunday at the Big A with an eight-race card. First post time is 12:50 p.m. A two-day Pick 6 carryover of $55,550 will start with Race 3 with a post time of approximately 1:54 p.m.
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