Surprisingly Rallies For First Graded Stakes Victory in Endeavour – Horse Racing News
Phipps Stable homebred Surprisingly benefited from a ground-saving trip under Paco Lopez, then unleashed a powerful stretch rally to nail Scotish Star and favored Marketsegmentation in Saturday’s Grade 3 Endeavour Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar, Fla.
Winning a graded stakes for the first time in her seventh career start for trainer Shug McGaughey, the 4-year-old filly by Mastery out of the Arch mare Vagabond covered 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:40.08 and paid $9.40 to win.
Argentine-bred Scotish Star held second, a neck behind the winner, after battling with Marketsegmentation down the stretch, the latter finishing three-quarters of a length back in third. Panama Red, an Irish-bred making her first U.S. start for trainer Arnaud Delacour, finished fourth after setting fractions of :47.61 and 1:10.88 for the opening six furlongs. Spirit and Glory finished fifth in the field of 11 fillies and mares, 4 and up.
Lopez saved ground aboard Surprisingly while racing near the back of the field. Approaching the far turn, he moved her closer into contention, then came off the rail briefly to pass a tiring rival before dropping back to the inside turning into the stretch. She swung four wide at the top of the lane and rallied relentlessly in the final sixteenth to get the victory.
“I saw (Scotish Star) was a couple of lengths in front, but I had better position and I could feel my horse picking up speed,” said Lopez. “She ran very fast at the end. She was flying.”
“I thought she ran great and I thought Paco (Lopez) rode her great, and that made the difference,” said McGaughey.”He saved ground around both turns and swung her outside so she could finish, and they both did a great job. It’s her first graded race and her first time against older horses, so we didn’t really know what to expect. I thought she could be competitive, but there were a lot of competitive horses in the race. We took a shot, and it worked.”
Surprisingly was winning for the fourth time, with one second, from seven starts. She came off a close second to Candy Light in the Tropical Park Oaks at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 26.