02/01/2015 6:42PM

Hard to Stay Notgo delivers in 'must win' situation

Joe Labozzetta/Coglianese Photos
Hard to Stay Notgo, ridden by Angel Arroyo, prolongs her racing career by winning the Franklin Square for New York-bred 3-year-old fillies.

Though it’s highly likely she knew what was at stake going into the race, Hard to Stay Notgo helped prolong her racing career Sunday at Aqueduct by recording a front-running, 5 1/2-length victory in the $125,000 Franklin Square Stakes for New York-bred 3-year-old fillies.

“If she didn’t put in a good performance today, she was going to the farm,” said Chester Broman, who along with his wife Mary bred and own Hard to Stay Notgo. “She saved herself today.”

Recovering from a stumble at the start underneath jockey Angel Arroyo, Hard to Stay Notgo picked herself up and put herself right on the lead, cutting out fractions of 23.55 seconds for the quarter and 46.97 for the half-mile, opening up a 4 1/2-length lead while under Arroyo’s restraint.

She maintained her wide advantage through the lane while being roused by Arroyo to finish the job. Hard to Stay Notgo covered six furlongs in 1:12.30 and returned $15.20 as the fourth choice in the field of nine.

"She's hit or miss, and she's a little problematic to train, but she's a vintage inner-track type filly,” said Steve Moyer, assistant to trainer Jimmy Jerkens. “She's naturally very fast; that's all she wants to do.”

Golden Gem, the 9-5 favorite off a sharp maiden victory, got bumped and had some traffic early, but rallied to be second, 3 3/4 lengths clear of stablemate Graeme Crackers. The two Rick Violette-trained fillies were followed, in order, by Sonora, My Super Nova, Majestic Jessica, Saluda, Enduring Touch, and Nonna Jo. Bernstein Flambe was scratched.

Hard to Stay Notgo won her debut at Saratoga last Aug. 6 and then was second in the Seeking the Ante Stakes 18 days later. Following a well-beaten third-place finish in the Joseph A. Gimma Stakes last September, Hard to Stay Notgo was put away.

She showed up in the entries last Wednesday, offered for a claiming price of $32,000. The Wednesday card was lost due to weather, but Broman said he would have scratched the filly out of that race anyway owing to many offers he was made to buy the filly.

“I had 20 calls, people wanting to buy her before the race,” Broman said. “They offered me more money than the claiming price and the purse. She’s a valuable mare.”

Hard to Stay Notgo is a daughter of More Than Ready out of the Storm Cat mare Whichwaydidshego, who is a half-sister to the multiple Grade 2 winner Fed Biz. Hard to Stay Notgo is a half-sister to Mark My Way, a multiple Stallion Stakes winner on turf whom the Bromans also own and bred.

Broman said Hard to Stay Notgo has “a little trouble breathing but it didn’t seem to bother her today.”

Broman said that Hard to Stay Notgo will remain in training.

“She might do better on the grass,” Broman said. “We’ll see.”