06/12/2009 11:00PM

No Use Denying romps in slop


Heavy rains partway through the card forced the $75,000 John Rooney Memorial Stakes off the turf and onto a sloppy main track, costing the 1 1/8-mile race for fillies and mares all but three of the 14 scheduled starters.

No Use Denying ($2.80), the lone horse among the remaining trio with a win on the main track, cruised to a front-running 10-length victory under Joe Rocco Jr.

Princess Haya, third in her only previous start on dirt, finished second and Avie's Tale was third.

A 4-year-old filly trained by Graham Motion, No Use Denying completed the nine furlongs in 1:53.92 while winning for the fourth time in 13 lifetime starts. In her most recent stakes appearance, No Use Denying finished second in another off-the-turf race, the Hilltop at Pimlico, in May 2008.

No Use Denying appeared to be Motion's back-up horse for the Rooney, behind Drop a Line, a mare who had been third early this season in the Grade 3 Suwannee River at Gulfstream Park, but who was among 11 scratches Saturday.