10/23/2010 3:34PM

Sentimental Lass digs in to win Maid of the Mist


ELMONT, N.Y. - Sentimental Lass showed she had some spunk to go along with her speed as she turned back co-favorite and previously undefeated Saltamontes in midstretch and won the $100,000 Maid of the Mist Stakes for New York-bred juvenile fillies by one length at Belmont Park.

Saltamontes, who began to drift inside the sixteenth pole, finished second by 2 1/4 lengths over Floating Alone who was severely compromised by a stumble at the start.

The win was the second straight for Sentimental Lass after she finished second in her debut at Saratoga. She is a daughter of Freud, who sired three of the first four winners on Saturday's New York Showcase card, including Hudson Stakes winner General Maximus.

In her win here going 5 1/2 furlongs on Sept. 26, Sentimental Lass withstood a little early pressure then drew off to win by 10 1/2 lengths. Saturday, she was stretching out to seven furlongs and with the rail, jockey Rajiv Maragh knew that he was best served by using his filly's good early speed.

Sentimental Lass broke on top and set fractions of 22.83 seconds for the quarter-mile and 46.41 for the half-mile being chased by Queen's Harbor and Saltamontes. Upper East Sider dropped back on the turn while Saltamontes picked up the chase and appeared to getting to Sentimental Lass in the stretch.

But Sentimental Lass dug in and turned back Saltamontes, who couldn't keep pace in the stretch while drifting. Sentimental Lass, owned by J Z B Racing Stables, covered the seven furlongs in 1:24.64 and returned $5.30 as the 8-5 favorite.

"She was very resilient, she wanted to win, she didn't want to let the other horse go by," Maragh said. "She's got a very competitive nature, and it showed coming down the lane."

Trainer David Duggan admitted he thought his filly was beat in midstretch.

"She proved to be very gutsy today," Duggan said. "I thought she was beat at the eighth pole, and she re-broke again."