Teresa Z overcame a wide journey and rallied from off the pace to register a career high here. A fourth-out winner while making her first attempt for this barn at Tampa Bay Dec. 30, the $635,000 KEESEP buy failed to find the mark in her next four starts, including a well-beaten third in Delaware's Light Hearted S. June 15 before winning a Penn National allowance July 8. The chestnut settled second-last behind splits of :23.25 and :47.48 here, launched a slingshot five-wide move on the latter half of the far turn and swept to the lead at the sixteenth pole to get the money.
“That worked out perfectly,” winning trainer Anthony Margotta Jr. said. “She showed speed early on in her career and we've been teaching her to wait and come with a big run. Nik [Juarez] couldn't have rode a better race. I'm very blessed to have St. Elias Stable in my life and this wonderful horse.”
Juarez added, “We knew there would be a lot of pace in the race and the key with this filly is to get her covered up and relaxed to let her make her one run. Everything set up beautifully today and the plan worked out perfectly.”
Phipps homebred and stakes winner With Flying Colors, a half-sister to champion Storm Flag Flying (Storm Cat), produced a filly by Palace Malice earlier this year. She was bred back to Into Mischief. Teresa Z's second dam My Flag won the 1995 GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and a trio of other Grade Is, while her legendary third dam capped a perfect 13-for-13 career witha dramatic victory in the 1988 GI Breeders' Cup Distaff at Churchill Downs. This is also the same female family of Miner's Mark (Mr. Prospector), Our Emblem (Mr. Prospector), Mr Speaker (Pulpit), etc. Teresa Z becomes the 65th graded winner for the late Smart Strike.
Saturday, Monmouth Park
MONMOUTH OAKS-GIII, $107,000, MTH, 8-12, 3yo, f, 1 1/16m, 1:43.43, ft.
1–#@TERESA Z, 116, f, 3, by Smart Strike
1st Dam: With Flying Colors (SW, $139,684) , by A.P. Indy
2nd Dam: My Flag, by Easy Goer
3rd Dam: Personal Ensign, by Private Account
($635,000 Ylg '15 KEESEP). O-St. Elias Stable; B-Besilu Stables, LLC (KY); T-Anthony R. Margotta, Jr.; J-Nik Juarez. $60,000. Lifetime Record: 10-3-2-2, $124,120. Werk Nick
Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus* Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.2–Sine Wave, 117, f, 3, Big Brown–Curlina, by Cuvee. ($53,000 Ylg '15 KEEJAN; $100,000 2yo '16 OBSAPR). O-Jeremiah Kane; B-John & Martha Jane Mulholland (KY); T-Benjamin W. Perkins, Jr. $20,000. 3–Overture, 123, f, 3, Congrats–Toccet Over, by Toccet. ($385,000 2yo '16 OBSMAR). O-WinStar Farm LLC; B-Hickstead Farm (FL); T-William I. Mott. $10,000.
Margins: 1HF, 3/4, 1. Odds: 5.60, 20.30, 3.30.
Also Ran: Babybluesbdancing, My Miss Tapit, Proud and Fearless, You Know Too, Frank's Folly, Who's the Lady.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.