06/11/2017 7:12PM

Chalon continues Californians' dominance by taking Jersey Girl

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ELMONT, N.Y. - Chalon capped a terrific weekend for California shippers at Belmont Park by rolling to a 6 1/2-length victory in an eventful running of Sunday’s $150,000 Jersey Girl Stakes for 3-year-old filly sprinters.

Chalon, under Paco Lopez, dueled early with Cajun Delta Dawn, poked her head in front at the five-sixteenths pole, and then pulled away from the field in the stretch for the convincing score. Golden Mischief rallied for second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Sadie Be Good. She was followed, in order, by Yorkiepoo Princess, Pretty City Dancer, and Cajun Delta Dawn.

Vertical Oak, the 6-5 favorite at post time, turned her head at the break and was in the hands of the assistant starter when the gates opened. Effectively out of the race, Vertical Oak was pulled by jockey Jose Ortiz. Following a stewards’ inquiry, Vertical Oak was declared a non-starter because they deemed she was compromised at the start and money wagered on her in the win, place, and show pools was refunded.

“She was a little anxious in there. She moved less than a second before they opened the door and he grabbed her thinking she was going to break through the door and the door opened at the same time,” Ortiz said. “I just pulled her up because there was no point to chase. I was too far behind.”

Meanwhile, Sadie Be Good was pulled up after the wire by jockey Jose Lezcano and vanned off. X-rays taken at the barn showed Sadie Be Good has a fractured right front cannon bone and she will need to undergo surgery, according to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

Chalon became the seventh California-based horse to win a stakes race over the four-day race week in which there were 19 stakes races run. She was the second stakes winner for trainer Peter Miller, who on Friday won the Grade 2 True North with Roy H.

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“It was a great weekend. I love New York,” Miller said by phone just as he boarded a plane back to Southern California.

The incident at the start regarding Vertical Oak took out one of the speed horses from the race. Cajun Delta Dawn, under Luis Saez, went to the lead but Chalon, under Paco Lopez, went out after her and the two were together through a quarter-mile in 23.41 seconds. Chalon poked a head in front at the five-sixteenths pole and came to the top of the stretch with a one-length advantage.

Chalon, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Dialed In, came a little wide down the lane, but drew away easily while covering six furlongs in 1:10.60. Though 6-1 when the doors opened, due to Vertical Oak being declared a non-starter Chalon’s final odds were 7-2 and she returned $9.30.

“When I saw the pace I felt real confident and she really kicked home strong in 22-and-change the last quarter,” said Miller, who trains Chalon for Gary Hartunian.

Miller said Chalon would ship back to Southern California in the coming days but would likely return to the East Coast for a race this summer, possibly the Grade 1 Test at Saratoga on Aug. 5.