06/26/2011 4:57PM

Monmouth Park: Feel That Fire leads all the way in Blue Sparkler Stakes

Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
Feel That Fire scores a gate-to-wire victory in Sunday's Blue Sparkler Stakes at Monmouth Park.

Feel That Fire took charge right from the break, leading all the way Sunday to win the $76,350 Blue Sparkler Stakes for fillies and mares at Monmouth Park.

A 4-year-old homebred for the Red Oak Farm, Feel That Fire earned her first stakes win, improving to 3 for 7 overall.

Jose Valdivia Jr. was aboard as Feel That Fire left the gate running. Leading by open lengths down the backstretch and around the turn, Feel That Fire had company in deep stretch as D’wild Ride made a determined late run.

D’wild Ride pulled up to the leader’s flanks, but got no closer.

“She did it all on her own,” Valdivia said. “When that other horse came up along side of her, she just drew away and kicked on.”

Feel That Fire, the 2-1 favorite, held on for a three-quarter-length victory in 1:09.37 for the six furlongs.

It was the third start at the meet for Feel That Fire. She lost all chance with a stumble at the start of the Red Cross Stakes in late May. She followed with a solid second in a second-level allowance behind Stormandaprayer from the Todd Pletcher barn.

“It was a super performance,” trainer Greg Sacco said. “It was a matter of her getting fit. The first stakes, she stumbled and really didn’t get much out of that race. The last race, we ran into a very fast filly of Todd’s. D’wild Ride is a very nice mare, and we’re happy to beat her today.”

Bronx City Girl finished third, and her rider, Joe Bravo, claimed foul against Feel That Fire and D’wild Ride. His filly had to check shortly after the break, but the stewards, after a brief review, dismissed the objection.