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Jockey Kent Desormeaux aboard Sheepshead Bay Handicap winner Mauralakana.
Along with Belmont Stakes day, Memorial Day weekend is an important one on the New York racing calendar. The feature race on the Saturday card is the $150,000 Sheepshead Bay Handicap (G2), a 1 3/8 mile trip over the inner turf course for older fillies and mares. A field of eight went to post before the on-track crowd of 6,964, with Mauralakana sent off as the 8-5 favorite exiting a win in the Mairzy Doates Handicap at Calder at the same distance and
Down the stretch with Mauralakana out front, 2nd place Herboriste on the outside, and 3rd place Hostess on the inside.
9-1 fifth choice Herboriste went to the lead first time past the stands and set a slow pace of 24.38, 49.38, 1:14.60, ad 1:39.06 while being stalked by 16-1 Ochre just a length behind. At the top of the stretch, Ochre tired and dropped back to finish seventh, but favorite Mauralakana, who was sixth down the backstretch, came out three wide on the turn, closed with a rush to pass the pacesetter at the 3/16 pole, and drew off to a 3 length victory in 2:14.69 over the firm course. It was just 1/2 a length back from Herboriste to late-running Hostess in third.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 8 Mauralakana Desormeaux 5.40 3.60 2.80 4 Herboriste Gomez 8.60 4.20 2 Hostess Velazquez 3.30 Winning Time: 2:14.69 $2 Exacta 8-4 38.60 $2 Trifecta 8-4-2 101.00
Left: Mauralakana returns after the race.
Right: Mauralakana gets cooled down with some water. Winning jockey Kent Desormeaux said, "That was a scintillating turn of foot - and a lovely ride, too! Chris had her breathing fire today."
Left: Second place finisher Herboriste leads first time by. The 9-2 fifth choice sprinted clear soon after the start and set a moderate pace under jockey Garrett Gomez, but was no match for Mauralakana late. The Michael Matz trainee improved her record to 2 wins, 2 seconds, and 3 thirds in 15 starts, earning $130,329 for owner Amelie Ehrnrooth.
Right: Third place finisher Hostess in the paddock before the race.
The 3-1 second choice was hard held in hand by jockey John Velazquez early, split horses while rallying on the turn, and finished willingly to get third place. The H. James Bond trainee improved her record to 3 wins, 3 seconds, and 6 thirds in 18 starts, earning $288,708 for owner William Clifton Jr.
Left: By the Light returns after the race. With the victory, the Richard Dutrow-trained By The Light stretched her unbeaten streak to 5 wins in 5 starts, earning $497,565 for owner Jay Em Ess Stable. This is her fourth straight stakes victory, after winning the Lady Finger Stakes and the New York Breeders Futurity both at Finger Lakes, and then the Delta Princess at Delta Downs.
Right: Deep stretch with winner By the Light followed by second place Throbbin' Heart and third place Overandabeauty.
Vagrancy Handicap - results and photos from Sunday, won by Looky Yonder
Metropolitan Handicap - results and photos from Monday, won by Divine Park
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