Updated on 09/17/2011 11:50AM

Summer Colony rallies from last to first

Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
Summer Colony and Gary Stevens win the $300,000 Grade II Molly Pitcher Breeders' Cup Handicap at Monmouth Park.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Summer Colony, the overwhelming favorite, rallied on the final turn and drew clear to a three-length victory Saturday afternoon in the Grade 2, $300,000 at Monmouth Park.

Summer Colony paid $2.80 to win with Gary Stevens aboard for trainer Mark Hennig. She ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.83 over a fast track.

The highweight in the field at 120 pounds, Summer Colony was last in the field of four through the opening half-mile.

"I didn't really know what to expect," Stevens said. "She came away very relaxed, and I just let her dictate to me what she wanted to do. She was confident and I rode her with confidence."

Stevens is now unbeaten in two rides aboard Summer Colony, a daughter of Summer Squall. He guided her to the upset of eventual Horse of the Year Azeri in the 2002 La Canada Stakes at Santa Anita. Azeri has not lost since then.

The Molly Pitcher unfolded with Alchemilla setting the pace, followed closely by She's Got the Beat and Call an Audible. Summer Colony remained an unhurried fourth.

Down the backstretch, Stevens asked Summer Colony to pick up the tempo. She edged closer to the pack and launched a three-wide challenge around the final turn.

She poked a head in front at the quarter pole and steadily increased her margin under minimal urging.

She's Got the Beat finished second, with Call an Audible, Hennig's other horse in the race, third.

Summer Colony was making only her second start of the year, having run second in the Grade 3 Pimlico Breeders' Cup Distaff Handicap.

Favorites take two legs of Pick 3

The NTRA Summer Pick 3, linking three major stakes Saturday afternoon at three different racetracks, paid $65.50 for each $2 wager.

The Summer Pick 3 kicked off with Spoken Fur ($11) romping to victory in her stakes debut in the Grade 1, $300,000 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park.

Lismore Knight ($6.40) got up in the final jumps to win the Grade 2, $175,000 Arlington Classic Stakes at Arlington Park in the second leg as the betting favorite.

Summer Colony, the 2-5 favorite, closed out the Pick 3 with her win in the Molly Pitcher.

Total pool for the wager was $413,957.