07/21/2017 6:21PM

Proctor's Ledge picks up first graded win in Lake George

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Barbara D. Livingston
Proctor's Ledge earned her first graded stakes win in Friday's Grade 3 Lake George Stakes.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Anyone who’d watched Proctor’s Ledge compete during the opening half of the year knew it was probably only a matter of time before she became a graded stakes winner. And the talented 3-year-old filly picked the perfect stage, opening day at Saratoga, to finally achieve that goal when rallying to a convincing 1 3/4-length victory over Party Boat in Saturday’s Grade 3 Lake George Stakes.

Proctor’s Ledge had knocked on the door, finishing second, third and fourth in her three previous starts against graded stakes company, with each of those races coming in Kentucky. Trainer Brendan Walsh opted to make a couple of changes for her first trip to New York, naming Javier Castellano to ride and putting his filly on Lasix for the first time in the Lake George.

Castellano had Proctor’s Ledge positioned perfectly in mid-pack, about three lengths off the early pace of Chubby Star, through the opening six furlongs of the 1 1/16-mile Lake George. Proctor’s Ledge engaged the leader with a three-wide surge into the stretch, edged clear nearing the furlong grounds, then maintained a safe advantage to the end. Party Boat angled four wide while rallying on the final turn, finished willingly, but could not make up ground on the winner at the end. Fifty Five, bumped at the start and shuffled back in the pack during the early going, rallied to finish another 1 3/4 lengths farther back in third.

Defiant Honor raced within striking distance early while saving ground, but was unable to quicken with the leaders when clear for the drive, ultimately finishing sixth as the tepid 3-1 favorite in a well-matched field of 10 3-year-old fillies. 

Proctor’s Ledge, a homebred daughter of Ghostzapper owned by Patricia Moseley, completed the distance in 1:41.47 over a firm course and returned $14.20.

“This was a deep field, she’d been running with those fillies and been a little unlucky,” said Walsh, who registered his first victory at Saratoga in the process. “It just kind of had to come together for her and today she looked like what she’d threatened to become all along. And there was no better place for it to finally happen. Hopefully it will be the start of some really good things to come. I think she can have a hell of a second half of the season, and I also believe she’ll be an even better filly next year.”

Walsh said the addition of Lasix had nothing to do with any bleeding issue, he just felt this was the right time to make the change.

“We decided to start her out the first few runs without [Lasix], but to put her on today to give her a little more of an advantage since everyone else is running on it,” said Walsh.  “You want to give yourself every chance.”