06/25/2011 6:38PM

Monmouth Park: Summer Soiree dominates in Boiling Springs

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Summer Soiree, with Gabriel Saez riding, pulls away to win the Boiling Springs.

Team Valor International and trainer H. Graham Motion employed another surface switch to win a 3-year-old stakes as Summer Soiree dominated the Grade 3, $155,000 Boiling Springs Stakes for fillies on the rain-softened turf at Monmouth Park on Saturday.

Animal Kingdom had never run on dirt before capturing the Kentucky Derby for Team Valor and Motion.
This time, the transition was dirt to turf as Summer Soiree rolled to a commanding score in her first race on grass.

Racing close to the pace from the start, Summer Soiree and jockey Gabriel Saez pulled clear on the final turn and were all alone in the lane. She cruised to an 8 1/2 length win over My Sunshine Gal, who finished a head better than Hessonite. The time was 1:42.89 for the 1 1/16 miles over a good course.

It was her second start since a private purchase. Her previous race was a 10th-place in the Kentucky Oaks, where she set the early pace.
"She got bumped coming out of the gate in the Oaks, and she got very on the muscle and never settled," Motion said. "Today she relaxed beautifully. She's done really well at Fair Hill. When Mr. Irwin bought this filly from Larry Jones, he felt the grass was probably in her future. And he was right. She ran a big race today. I was thrilled the way she settled off horses today. If she was going to run well on softish ground, she needed to relax."

Summer Soiree improved to 4 for 10, paying $9.40 to win.

Pontenuovo, the 5-2 favorite, was checked hard twice and finished last in the nine-horse field.

The Boiling Springs was the only race run on the grass. The other three scheduled turf races were shifted to the main track as the course, soaked by recent heavy rain, continued to dry out.

Check Point rallies to win Lighthouse

Check Point ($11.20) came from far back to win the $75,000 Lighthouse Stakes for fillies and mares. Carlos Marquez, Jr. was aboard for trainer Alan Goldberg as the 5-year-old beat the pacesetting Debonair Darling by 2 3/4 lengths. The time was 1:43.09 for the 1 1/16 miles.