07/09/2017 8:04PM

True Cinder has fifth triumph in row with Cincinnatian Stakes

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True Cinder had to beat only three other horses for the third stakes victory of her career, but those challengers made her work for it. The heavy favorite dug in gamely when headed late and prevailed narrowly over Sugar Lane in the $75,000 Cincinnatian Stakes for Ohio-accredited 3-year-old fillies Sunday evening at Belterra Park. 

True Cinder ($2.40) has now won five consecutive races for owner and trainer Michael Rone, including last year's Glacial Princess Stakes at Mahoning Valley and this May's Dr. T.F. Classen Memorial Stakes at Thistledown. The Cincinnatian was her first try on turf.

Sugar Lane and John McKee narrowly led True Cinder and Rex Stokes III through a moderate opening quarter of 24.88 seconds, but conceded the lead as the favorite, keen to go on, motored clear through the half in 50.04 and six furlongs in a pedestrian 1:15.26 while leading by 1 1/2 lengths.

Sugar Lane rallied in earnest coming into the lane and drew onto even terms with True Cinder, poking a head in front at the furlong grounds. But True Cinder dug in gamely, edging clear again in the final yards to win by three-quarters of a length.

The fillies completed the 1 1/16 miles on turf rated firm in 1:46.35.

After the top two, it was another 2 3/4 lengths back to Grizabella in third, and Diva's Kitten rounded out the order of finish.