Updated on 09/17/2011 11:36PM

Stalk strategy propels Humoristic

Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
Humoristic wins the Grade 3, $150,000 Violet Stakes on Friday night at The Meadowlands Racetrack.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Jockey Harry Vega took it upon himself to script a new game plan for Humoristic in the Grade 3, $150,000 Violet Stakes on Friday night at The Meadowlands Racetrack.

Vega, riding Humoristic for the first time, said he studied Humoristic's past performances and noticed she was too far off the pace in prior stakes to make her rally effective.

"I warmed her up as much as I could so she could be there close, and I was lucky she was," Vega said. "I warmed her up to get her on her toes a little bit."

The prerace exercise paid off, as Humoristic quickly bounded into a stalking position behind the pacesetting Coherent. Humoristic reeled in Coherent approaching the final turn and immediately opened up a clear lead. Humoristic was five lengths in front turning for home and coasted to the wire, beating Delta Princess by three lengths. Brunilda finished third.

"She was pulling and tugging right along," Vega said. "It was just a matter of when I wanted to go with her. I let her open up because I wanted to make it easy on her."

Humoristic ($58.40) ran the 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:42.23 to score her first stakes victory.

Unfortunately for Delta Princess, the race was decided before she hit her best stride. Tenth at the top of lane, she flew through the final stages to get second. Delta Princess went off as the 6-5 favorite as part of the Bill Mott-trained entry with Minge Cove.

Delta Princess wound up in the Violet by default. She was entered in the Grade 3 Athenia Handicap at Belmont Park on Oct. 15 but was scratched when the race switched to the main track.

* Terrific Challenge ($9.40) won the $50,000 Bergen County Stakes for 3-year-olds. Trained by Stanley Hough and ridden by Eibar Coa, Terrific Challenge ran the five furlongs on turf in 56.82 seconds to beat Silver Moose by three-quarters of a length. North Potomac was third.