09/06/2014 6:44PM

Holywell holds on to win Susan's Girl in second leg of Sire Series for fillies


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Holywell prompted a very fast pace, then held on determinedly to withstand Moment of Delight by a nose to upset the $250,000 Susan’s Girl Stakes, the middle leg of the filly division of the Florida Sire Series, at odds of 41-1 Saturday at Gulfstream Park. Leap Year Luck, the 5-2 favorite, rallied belatedly to finish another three parts of a length farther back in third.

Holywell was beaten 17 lengths by Leap Year Luck in the opening leg of the series, the six-furlong Desert Vixen. She raced just off the early pace set by I’m a Good Looker, who posted early splits of 22.27 seconds for the opening quarter and 45.88 for a half-mile over a fast but tiring racetrack.

Holywell gained command entering the stretch, edged clear near the eighth pole, then narrowly outlasted Moment of Delight.

Moment of Delight, an easy winner of her only previous start, rallied wide into the stretch and just missed. Leap Year Luck dropped to the rear of the 13-horse field, came widest turning for home, moved within striking distance nearing the eighth pole, but could not sustain her bid.

Holywell, a homebred daughter of Exclusive Reality, is trained by Jose Pinchin for his wife, Tracy, and was ridden to victory by Orlando Bocachica.  She paid $85.60. The winner’s final time of 1:28.62 for seven furlongs was nearly two seconds slower than Twotwentyfive A ran to win the Affirmed division of the Sire Stakes just 30 minutes earlier.

“I wasn’t sure [if she held on],” said Pinchin. “I won one last week by a big lip and this one by a small lip. Her last race was a throw out. She got wiped out, almost got turned around.  I told Boca, ‘Get the lead if you can,’ and he did what he had to do.”