11/25/2016 4:46PM

My Impression's strong close gives her Winter Memories win

Joe Labozzetta/NYRA
My Impression wins her third stakes race of the year with Friday's Winter Memories victory.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - My Impression has packed a lot into the second half of her 3-year-old season and has given notice she could be a significant player in the older filly and mare turf division in 2017.

Able to cover up and save ground under Jose Ortiz, My Impression flashed a strong closing kick in the stretch to win Friday’s $125,000 Winter Memories Stakes by a half-length at Aqueduct. Sassy Little Lila, a winner of two straight coming in, rallied along the inside to finish second, a half-length in front of 29-1 shot Gianna’s Dream.

The win was the fourth in seven starts this year for My Impression and fifth in nine career races. In the last four months, My Impression, trained by Shug McGaughey, has won three stakes including the Grade 3 Commonwealth Stakes at Laurel and the Christiana at Delaware.

Stuart Janney III, owner and breeder of My Impression, said the filly had a bleeding incident earlier in the year and McGaughey recommended some time “away from the track.”

My Impression finished third in last month’s Grade 3 Valley View Stakes at Keeneland. In that race, she was positioned too close to a slow pace and she had no late punch.

Ortiz was able to get My Impression covered up early Friday as she raced in midpack while Kaola Queen set fractions of 24.03 seconds for the quarter and 48.96 for the half-mile.

Ortiz continued to save ground on My Impression until the top of the stretch, when he was able to get her to the outside. Once in the clear, she powered home strongly, outfinishing Sassy Little Lila, who split horses in the final furlong and held second by a half-length over Gianna’s Dream, who nosed out Noble Beauty for third. Noble Beauty was followed by Gioia Stella, Insta Erma, Danilovna, Grey Stark, Koala Queen, and Free N Clear.

My Impression, a daughter of Sky Mesa out of the Broad Brush mare Impressionism, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.22 over a good turf course and returned $7.50 to win.

“I had a perfect trip and saved all the ground and I tipped out without too much difficulty,” said Ortiz, who has won at least three races on a single card six times in the last nine Aqueduct programs. “When I tipped out she gave me a good run.”

My Impression is the second and final foal out of Impressionism, who Janney said died shortly after foaling My Impression.

“I lost the mare, so there’s a lot riding on this one,” Janney said.

Janney said My Impression will definitely race as a 4-year-old. He mentioned a possibility she could run in the Grade 1 American Oaks at Santa Anita on Dec. 31.