09/01/2016 5:39PM

Coasted shows new dimension winning P.G. Johnson Stakes

Barbara D. Livingston
Coasted comes from off the pace under Jose Lezcano to win the P.G. Johnson Stakes for 2-year-old fillies.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Coasted showed a different dimension from her impressive maiden victory and gave her connections some reason to get excited about the future with a one-length victory in Thursday’s $100,000 P.G. Johnson Stakes at Saratoga.

On Aug. 7, Coasted pressed the pace before drawing off to win by six lengths in her first start on turf after having lost her debut on dirt. Thursday, she was kept in reserve early behind a slow pace by jockey Jose Lezcano, made an early middle move to gain contention down the backstretch, and then bullied her way through a narrow opening in midstretch to get the victory over Noble Ready. It was three-quarters of a length back to a wide-running Majestic Bonnie in third. Naifah, Bahama Halo, Lady Joan, and Mo Promise completed the order of finish.

Though trainer Leah Gyarmati said she was “having a minor heart attack” as she watched the race unfold, in the end she was happy to see her 2-year-old filly Coasted show new dimensions.

“It’s pretty cool to see her do that because we’re going to need to do that going forward - bigger races with more horses, traffic trouble - it’s nice to know you have a horse that can bully her way through,” Gyarmati said. “It’s kind of exciting.”

Lezcano had Coasted in sixth, 5 1/2 lengths off the pace after an opening half-mile established by Mo Promise in 49.86 seconds.

Lezcano made an inside move to get into third position a bit past the midway point down the backstretch, but then he had to wait as Lady Joan and Majestic Bonnie made three- and four-wide moves, respectively, around the far turn.

Lezcano was still following Mo Promise off the turn, initially planning to go around her but then diving back to the inside and was able to get through at the three-sixteenths pole. Mo Promise showed a quick turn of foot to get in front of Noble Ready, who had taken over from Mo Promise at the eighth pole. Coasted made such a quick move that Lezcano actually took her in hand for the final strides.

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Coasted, a daughter of Tizway owned by Jeff Treadway, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.25 and returned $3.40 as the 3-5 favorite.

Lezcano said he made an early move down the backside “if something can open I can go through but that didn’t happen until the last three-sixteenths. But she’s a very nice filly, she does everything right. I think she’ll be a very interesting filly in the future.”

Gyarmati said the future could include the Grade 3, $200,000 Miss Grillo Stakes at Belmont on Oct. 2 and then the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf on Nov. 4 at Santa Anita.