Lopez doubles up with victories in Red Cross, Little Silver

Rusty Slipper wins the Little Silver, giving her rider, Paco Lopez, a second stakes victory on the afternoonPaco Lopez scored a stakes double on Monday as Monmouth Park closed out the Memorial Day weekend on the Jersey Shore.

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Lopez was aboard Silverette, a confident winner of the $61,800 Red Cross for filly and mare sprinters. He followed up with a 10-1 upset on Rusty Slipper in the $63,600 Little Silver for 3-year-old fillies on the turf. It was the first stakes win for both fillies.

Silverette, a gray 4-year-old trained by Dale Romans, was well in hand in the deep stretch.

“She had plenty left to hold everyone off,” Lopez said.

The 2-1 second choice, Silverette pressed the pace dictated by Little Stitch and took over midway on the turn. Angel’s Glory, up the fence, and Holiday Soiree, the 9-10 favorite following a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs, made late runs but were no match for Silverette.

“This filly has a chance to be something really special,” said trainer Dale Romans, who spent the holiday on the Jersey Shore. “She’s always been one of my favorites. The race played out exactly the way we thought, and everything worked out right.”

Silverette is now 4-3-0 in 8 starts. This was her first win outside New York.

Silverette won by one length over Angel’s Glory in 1:09.72 for the six furlongs on the fast track. She paid $6.80 to win.

Holiday Soiree was third followed by Srumdiddlyumptious, Taylors Irish, Little Stitch and Our Year.

Bella Castani, the 7-10 favorite in the Little Silver, never settled into a comfortable rhythm. She resisted restraint from jockey Joe Bravo, pulling herself into contention with a three-wide move on the first turn and a four-wide sweep down the backstretch.

Her race was over turning for home. That threw the contest up for grabs with Rusty Slipper taking charge in the scramble to wire.

“The leaders started backing up at the quarter pole and I angled to the outside,” Lopez said. “Once she got clear, she really kicked in.”

It was the third win in five starts for the filly, who started her career with a pair of wins at Tampa Bay Downs for trainer Graham Motion. She was overmatched in her next two outings, both Grade 3 stakes.

The order of finish was shuffled behind the winner as Street Gem, second under the wire, was placed fifth for stretch interference with Rhythm Queen. Three Hearts was elevated from third to second. Skyfall and Rhythm Queen both moved up one position to third and fourth, respectively.

Rusty Slipper paid $22.40 to win. The time was 1:35.29 for the mile on the firm course.