12/05/2015 9:26PM

Spanish Pipedream up by a neck in Holiday Inaugural

Coady Photography
Spanish Pipedream, ridden by Albin Jimenez, holds off Rachel's Ready in the Holiday Inaugural.

Spanish Pipedream held off a sustained bid from Rachel’s Ready to register a neck victory Saturday night in the 30th running of the $50,000 Holiday Inaugural Stakes at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky.

The top two finishers are 3-year-olds who squared off against more accomplished older fillies and mares, most notably Fioretti, the 7-5 favorite who had no excuse when finishing third, another 2 1/2 lengths behind Rachel’s Ready.

With Albin Jimenez riding for trainer Wesley Ward, Spanish Pipedream led throughout the six-furlong Polytrack race, shaking off a pair of pursuing longshots leaving the quarter-pole before outlegging Rachel’s Ready in the final yards.

Spanish Pipedream, owned by Hat Creek Racing, returned $12.40 after finishing in 1:11.01. A Kentucky-bred daughter of Scat Daddy, Spanish Pipedream was making her first start in nearly eight months and just her second since she won the Cincinnati Trophy at Turfway versus newly turned 3-year-olds in February. She was fourth in a Group 2 race at Royal Ascot in June 2014.

“She’d done real well this fall at Keeneland getting ready for this,” said Ward.

The $2 exacta (5-7) paid $157.60, the $1 trifecta (5-7-10) returned $292.10, and the 10-cent superfecta (5-7-10-11) was worth $138.71.

The Holiday Inaugural is the first of two stakes at the Holiday meet that runs through Dec. 31. In all, there are 10 Turfway stakes during four months of winter racing, highlighted by the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes on April 2.