Under a decisive ride by Paco Lopez, Got Lucky broke through with her first stakes win in the Grade 3 Molly Pitcher at Monmouth Park on Friday. The $163,500 Molly Pitcher was Got Lucky’s ninth stakes try. She had finished second in four of those races, including the Grade 2 Gazelle and Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra last year and the Grade 2 Demoiselle in 2013.

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In her last start, the Monmouth Beach Stakes on May 24, Got Lucky moved to an easy lead entering the stretch but was run down by Stiffed, who was her main rival again on Friday. J’s Two Step Halo was a bit rank on the lead in the Molly Pitcher, but jockey Daniel Centeno got her to relax, and she showed the way through fractions of 24.46 seconds, 49.85, and 1:14.38 while being tracked by Got Lucky. Mary n’ Eileen was forwardly placed just to Got Lucky’s outside. Got Lucky moved to the lead outside J’s Two Step Halo entering the stretch, and Lopez kept her mind on business for the length of the stretch while scoring by 5 1/2 lengths.

Stiffed lagged back early and then rallied in the final three furlongs to be second-best. J’s Two Step Halo was third, 4 1/4 lengths behind Stiffed. Got Lucky, trained by Todd Pletcher, has a 13-4-5-0 record and earnings of $451,340. She paid $2.60 as the heavy favorite in the six-horse Molly Pitcher. She was timed in 1:44.12 after covering a mile in 1:38.30.

“I knew Stiffed would be coming to the outside again,” Lopez said. “This time, the pace was a little easier for us. She wanted to go a little early, but I had to hold her back. Once we were in the clear, I let her go. She sprinted away perfectly.” The Molly Pitcher was the third win of the day for Lopez.