Updated on 09/24/2016 6:23PM

My Impression finds winning opening in Commonwealth Oaks

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David Joseph
My Impression paid $11.20 to win the Commonwealth Oaks on Saturday.

Shug McGaughey is doing his best Chad Brown impersonation.

A week after winning the Sands Point, a Grade 2 turf race for 3-year-old fillies, with On Leave, McGaughey won the Grade 2, $150,000 Commonwealth Oaks, another 3-year-old filly grass race, with My Impression. McGaughey and owner-breeder Stuart Janney also won the Commonwealth Oaks last year with Onus.

Brown, who has multiple graded-stakes performers in every turf division, did manage a two-three finish Saturday with Noble Beauty nipping Pricedtoperfection for the place. Favored Stella Rose was fourth, and probably would at least have finished second had she not been badly impeded by fading, drifting, pace-setting It’s The Truth, who nearly caused Stella Rose to clip heels before carrying her out to the middle of the course.

My Impression, meanwhile, found a great spot down near the rail from which to launch her winning rally. Seventh and eighth in the early and middle going, My Impression raced behind a wall of horses turning for home before jockey Jose Ortiz Jr. saw an opening.

“There was a lot of traffic to the middle and outside,” Ortiz said. “I saw the rail open, I felt like I had a lot of horse, I asked her, and she exploded.”

My Impression paid $11.20 to win and was timed in 1:45.67 for 1 1/8 miles on firm, fast-playing turf.

She had won the $50,000 Christiana Stakes earlier this summer, but finished sixth making her graded stakes debut in the Lake Placid at Saratoga, a race in which My Impression slipped on wet turf and lost her action before the quarter-pole, and was eased to the wire.

Ortiz said My Impression “settled better” Saturday than she had in the past, and the filly almost certainly ran the best race of her career. She’s by Sky Mesa and out of the Broad Brush mare, Impressionism.


Skipalute wins stakes debut
Skipalute is by Midnight Lute, a dirt sprinter, and out of a mare by Montbrook, another dirt sprinter, but a recent switch to turf routes has brought out the best in the filly, and she led nearly all the way Saturday winning the $60,000 Brookmeade Stakes for Virginia-breds.

Ridden by Jose Ortiz for trainer John Kimmel and co-owners Gold Mark Farm and Whisper Hill Farm, Skipalute ($5) set a pace that was moderate for the conditions and took a clear lead into the homestretch. Complete St. came wide with a long, sustained challenge starting at the top of the stretch, but Skipalute came home well enough to hold her off by a neck.

My Dinah Lee finished third as Skipalute ran 1 1/16 miles on a firm course in 1:41.60.

In the day’s first stakes race, the $60,000 Punch Line for Virginia-bred older turf sprinters, Moon River scored just his second win from 15 career starts beating pace-setting Available by 1 1/2 lengths. It was another three quarters of a length back to heavily favored Two Notch Road, who could not duplicate the form he showed in the Turf Monster last out at Parx Racing.

Moon River, a Bluegrass Cat 4-year-old trained by Brendan Walsh for DARRS Inc., ran 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02.033 and paid $8.20.

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Three-peat for Rose Brier

Rose Brier won the $60,000 Bert Allen Stakes for Virginia-bred turf-route horses for the third year in a row, and he won it easily. Favored at 1-9, Rose Brier got a perfect trip racing third behind two dueling leaders, the rest of the field nowhere to be found. Before the quarter pole, he moved three wide under Trevor McCarthy, who won three races Saturday, and the Bert Allen was over. Rose Brier, trained for the Panic Stable by Jane Cibelli, won by 4 1/4 lengths and paid $2.20 to win. Rose Brier is a 7-year-old by Mizzen Mast.

Rapid Rhythm scores as odd-on choice

Heavily favored Rapid Rhythm accelerated between horses in midstretch and won the $60,000 Oakley for Virginia-bred female turf sprinters by 1 1/2 lengths going away. McCarthy was in the irons for trainer Mike Stidham and owner DARRS Inc. Rapid Rhythm, a 4-year-old by Successful Appeal, has hit career-best form in her recent starts, and off a runner-up finish in a rich Kentucky Downs turf sprint two weeks ago, she paid just $3 as the 1-2 favorite.

Lime House Louie takes Jamestown

Lime House Louie lost the lead in midstretch to odds-on favorite Hold Me Black but came back to win the $60,000 Jamestown for Virginia-bred 2-year-olds by one length, Hold Me Black hanging on for second. Gabriel Saez rode the winner, a son of Limehouse, for trainer Flint Stites and the Wildcard Stable.