07/28/2012 6:33PM

Monmouth Park: Senator Beck surges late to win Desert Vixen Stakes

David Owens/EQUI-PHOTO
Senator Beck wins her first stakes in the in the $75,200 Desert Vixen Stakes.

OCEANPORT, N.J. – Senator Beck, trapped behind a wall of horses turning for home, was running out of time and luck.

And then Paco Lopez saved the day, wheeling her to the far outside in the $75,200 Desert Vixen Stakes for 3-year-old turf fillies Saturday afternoon at Monmouth Park.

With an electrifying surge, Senator Beck stormed past Peace Preserver to score her first stakes win.

“When she got free, she exploded for me,” Lopez said.

It was a strong rebound performance following a seventh-place finish in the Grade 3 Boiling Springs here last month.

After that race, trainer Tim Hills ordered up some chiropractic work that seemed to help. Hills also made a rider change to Lopez.

“Paco seems to have no nerves,” Hills said. “He just rides. When she broke her maiden, she would weave through horses or just run over horses if they got in her way. She’s really tough. It was just a matter of the rider being as game as she is.”

It also was reassuring for Hills and Tee-N-Jay Farm to see the homebred filly win at Monmouth. There was concern that the New Jersey-bred didn’t like this course after she was third in the Little Silver Stakes before running poorly in the Boiling Springs.

“Now, we’ll follow the program here as long as we can,” Hills said.

An added sweetener was the 40 percent New Jersey-bred bonus for winning an open race. The extra $14,400 elevated the winner’s share to $50,400.

Peace Preserver, the 13-10 favorite, looked like the winner after splitting rivals to grab a short lead in the lane. She continued on gamely, but was outkicked, finishing a half-length behind Senator Beck.

Composition was third, followed by Raro, Tapajo, and Candy Cat Can.