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Eddie Read Day
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Paco Lopez and Vigilantes Way return after winning the 2021 Eatontown Stakes
The feature race on Sunday at Monmouth Park was the $165,000 Eatontown Stakes (G3) for older fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Conditions were typical for the Jersey Shore on the first day of summer, with sunny skies, temperatures in the high 80's and the course rated firm. Gallorette (G3) second place finisher Vigilantes Way was sent off as the 7-2 favorite in the full field of 12. In to challenge her included 15-4 second choice Nay Lady Nay, 4th in the Beaugay (G3) at Belmont, and 4-1 third choice Sweet Bye and Bye, winner of the Sand Springs at Gulfstream.
Vigilantes Way leads down the stretch.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 12 Vigilantes Way Lopez 9.20 6.20 4.40 7 Valletta Corrales 3.00 10.60 4 Counterparty Risk Juarez 3.60 10 Crystal Cliffs Carrasco 3.60 Winning Time: 1:41.90 $1 Exacta 12-7 88.50 $1 Trifecta 12-7-4 403.70 $1 Trifecta 12-7-10 421.80 $1 Superfecta 12-7-4-10 3,308.00 $1 Superfecta 12-7-10-4 3,249.90
Left: Vigilantes Way in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Shug McGaughey said, "I thought Paco rode a good race. He got her away from there from the outside and had her in good position. I knew she would finish. She had trained very well before she went down there. It was just a matter of whether she would take the shipping on a hot day like today. She obviously did. I'm very proud of her."
Right: Vigilantes Way heads back to the barn after the race. Winning jockey Paco Lopez said, "Sometimes this horse has speed, sometimes not. The post position (12) is something I usually don't like but today it worked to our advantage. I was able to get out there and get in a good position behind (Valletta). It set up nicely for us."
Left: Vigilantes Way in the paddock. McGaughey added, "I thought her last race in Pimlico was a really good race because she kind of got jumbled up at the start and got out of position. She only got beat a half-length by Mean Mary, a multiple-graded stakes winner. Now maybe we can go on and get her stretched out, maybe to 1 1/8. She's handy. She might be able to get it. When that will be, I don't know. But today I am very pleased with the way she ran and very proud of her. Getting a graded stakes win is important, especially for a filly with a pedigree like hers. It's as good a pedigree as you are going to find. So now she's a graded stakes winner. Hopefully, it might lead to something even better."
Right: Vigilantes Way in the post parade. Lopez added, "Shug told me to do whatever I felt I needed to do. She is usually in the top three early and I knew she would finish. She has a strong kick. It looked like there was a lot of speed in the race but they went kind of slow so I was happy with the position I was in throughout the race. I didn't have to make up a lot of ground."
Left: Second place finisher Valletta leads first time by. The Danny Gargan trainee improved her record to 3 wins, 2 seconds, and 2 thirds in 13 starts, earning $132,270 for owner Spedale Family Racing.
Right: Third place finisher (dead heat) Counterparty Risk walks over before the race. The Chad Brown trainee improved her record to 2 wins, 1 second, and 1 third in 7 starts, earning $174,830 for owner Klaravich Stables.
Left: Third place finisher (dead heat) Crystal Cliffs in the paddock before the race. The Graham Motion trainee improved her record to 2 wins, 2 seconds, and 2 thirds in 6 starts, earning $91,193 for owners Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables, and Wonder Stables.
Right: Winning jockey Paco Lopez gives riding tips in the winner's circle.
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