Ridden by Elvis Trujillo, Recepta was content to settle in fifth position mid-pack early on. Tracking pacesetters Ms. Frost and Marbre Rose through the half.
She improved her position to fourth before sweeping four wide on the turn to confront the leaders. Taking over with a furlong to go, Recepta held off a late bid from Lady Lara, to win by half a length.
“I had a perfect trip. Three or four horses went to the lead,” said Trujillo. “At the three-eighths pole they started to stop and the horses next to me started putting pressure on them. When I turned for home, I asked her and she was gone. She’s a very nice horse.”
“We’ll probably come back in the Grade 3 Athenia [October 17, Belmont Park],” added Toner. “We mapped out a plan for her early on. We wanted to get a graded stake, this worked out perfect. She’ll have two more starts this year, and if she comes back next year bigger and stronger I think she can develop into something special.”
The victory was the second consecutive and first graded stakes score for the daughter of Speightstown, who entered the Noble Damsel off a 2 1/4-length win in the De La Rose on August 8 at Saratoga Race Course.
This is the second Noble Damsel win for trainer Jimmy Toner and owners Phillips Racing Partnership and Pam Gartin, who also won the 2003 edition with multiple graded stakes winner, Wonder Again.
Recepta extended her record to 5-0-3 from 11 lifetime starts. With the winner’s purse of $120,000, Recepta enhanced her bankroll to $381,200.
Runner-up Lady Lara was a length ahead of third-place finisher Crowley’s Law, with favored Coffee Clique checking in fourth. Baffle Me, Marbre Rose, Devilish Love, Miss Frost, and Tuttipaesi completed the order of finish.
(Jeanne Schnell) TRACK NOTES
• Trainer Chad Brown is likely to saddle the familiar trio of Big Blue Kitten, Slumber, and Shining Copper, who have been entered together in their past two races, in the Grade 1, $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic on Saturday at Belmont Park.
The most accomplished runner of the group, Big Blue Kitten, a winner of 13 of 28 lifetime starts with earnings upwards of $2 million, is coming off a second-place finish in the Grade 1 Arlington Million on August 15 at Arlington Park.
The 7-year-old son of Kitten’s Joy sat well off the early pace in the Million and closed strongly to miss by a neck in second, the best placing of the Brown triumvirate.
“He’s doing really well,” said Brown. “He emerged from the Million in good shape. He’s had some maintenance works in between and he seems like he’s kept his form well.”
A 7-year-old owned by Michael Dubb and Sheep Pond Partners, Slumber became a Grade 1 winner earlier this year when he took the Manhattan by 2 ¾ lengths over Big Blue Kitten equipped with blinkers for the first time on Belmont Stakes Day.
After a runner-up effort in the United Nations, the son of Cacique endured a nightmare trip in the Million and finished eighth, well behind both of his stablemates.
Completing the trio is Shining Copper, who has made a favorable impression on Brown through only two starts in his barn. Also owned by the Ramseys, Shining Copper served as a rabbit in the United Nations and Arlington Million, but nearly held on to win both, finishing fourth and third, respectively.
“We’ve used him as a pacemaker in his last two races and he’s nearly held on and won it all,” said Brown. “He’s a very brave horse and has a lot of class. He’ll be out there on the front again.”
• Unveiled in Saturday’s first race, $2.2 million yearling purchase Mohaymen lived up to the hype with a gritty half-length score in a six-furlong maiden race for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and Shadwell Stable.
The most expensive purchase from last year’s Keeneland September sale, Mohaymen broke sharply and got away with a soft opening quarter-mile but was confronted by $900,000 2-year-old buy Seymourdini around the turn. The two continued to tussle all the way to the eighth pole, when Mohaymen stuck his neck in front and went on to victory.
“He was a little green, I think, but he dug back in,” McLaughlin said of the talented juvenile. “It was a nice first start. I’m not sure exactly what we’ll do with him, but we’re happy that he won first time out.”
According to McLaughlin, the Grade 2, $200,000 Nashua on November 4 at Aqueduct Racetrack will likely be Mohaymen’s next race. In 2013, McLaughlin won the Nashua impressively with Cairo Prince.
• Antonino Miuccio’s millionaire graded stakes winner Palace became much more likely to make his racing return in the Grade 1 Vosburgh at Belmont Park on September 26 following a solid Sunday morning breeze, according to trainer Linda Rice.
Winner of back-to-back Grade 1s at Saratoga last year, taking the Alfred G. Vanderbilt and the Forego by a combined 4 ½ lengths, the 6-year-old New York-bred was sidelined for most of the summer after stumbling from the gate and suffering a severe cut to his left front foot in the John Morrissey at Saratoga on July 30, where he finished third as the 7-5 favorite against fellow state-breds.
“He fell and hurt his foot really badly and it’s been quite an ugly wrap. We took the whole meet to get healed up,” Rice said. “In his first couple of breezes, he was a little tender on his foot and I didn’t think we were going to make the Vosburgh. But, frankly, off of today’s breeze, I’d say yes.”
In his third official work since returning to the worktab earlier this month, Palace, owning a record of 11-5-4 from 25 career starts and earnings of more than $1.3 million, breezed five furlongs in a bullet 59.85 seconds over the training track, the fastest of nine at the distance.
Rice added that if all goes to plan, Palace will again be pointed to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup TwinSpires Sprint, where the former $20,000 claiming purchase finished sixth last year, three lengths behind winner Work All Week.
It likely will be the swan song for the son of City Zip, who is expected to retire to the breeding shed next spring.