Princess Grace returns from eight-month layoff to win the Grade 3 Penny Memorial

Princess Grace got her 4-year-old season off to a rousing start Tuesday when she battled Madita for a neck win in the Grade 3, $200,000 Dr. James Penny Memorial at Parx Racing. It was another two lengths back in third to Platinum Paynter.

The Penny Memorial was a mile and a sixteenth turf race for fillies and mares. There were four scratches: Honey Cake, Quiet Company, Secret Time, and Sunset Kisses.

Princess Grace ($4) was making her first start since last November, when she won the off-the-turf Mrs. Revere, a Grade 2 at Churchill Downs. She was content to settle in fourth on Tuesday, as Glamorous Thunder jumped out to a clear lead and took the field through fractions of 23.22 seconds for the opening quarter, 47.67 for the half-mile, and 1:11.63 for six furlongs.

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Princess Grace rode the rail, was angled just off the fence into the stretch, and after coming between rivals pushed past a stubborn Madita in a lively battle. The winner covered the distance on firm ground in a strong 1:41.18.

Joe Bravo was aboard Princess Grace for trainer Michael Stidham.

M and M Stable owns Princess Grace, who was winning the second stakes of her career. She is now 4 for 5 in her career and 3 for 4 on the grass. Princess Grace picked up $115,200 for the win Tuesday to improve her career earnings to $320,460. She is a daughter of Karakontie. ​