Miss J McKay tops loaded field for $100K Stewart Manor
by NYRA Press Office
Maxis Stables, Madaket Stables and Wonder Stable's Miss J McKay, who has yet to be beat to the wire in three starts, will look to keep her streak alive in Sunday's second running of the $100,000 Stewart Manor for juvenile fillies at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by Cathal Lynch, Miss J McKay's connections had hoped to take part in last weekend's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint with the stakes winning bay, but changed direction when listed 15th in order of preference by the selection panel.
The bay daughter of unheralded Hangover Kid won by 5 ¼-lengths in her July 5 debut when sprinting 5 ½ furlongs on the Laurel Park main track under Trevor McCarthy in a $40,000 maiden claiming tilt.
Bred in Maryland by Linda Oliff Rohleder, Miss J McKay came back in the Colleen, a five furlong turf sprint at Monmouth Park, which she won by three lengths when piloted by Jorge Vargas, Jr., but was disqualified and placed third for interference.
"She bumped a filly," said Lynch. "The jockey hit her right handed and she ducked in a little bit as they came off the bend. She did that in her maiden win as well. She never does anything wrong in the morning, but in the heat of battle she stepped in a little bit and bumped the two horses inside of her and had to come down.
"It was just one of those things. Just a little greenness more than anything else," Lynch added.
Madaket Stables and Wonder Stable bought into the talented filly following the Colleen, which proved a wise decision as last out, in the Anne Arundel County, a 5 ½-furlong turf sprint at Laurel, Miss J McKay, with McCarthy back in the irons, settled in fifth before surging to a five-length score that registered a lofty 86 Beyer number.
"She stayed straight the last time. Trevor knows her pretty well," said Lynch. "It was a good win. She ran a big number. There were some good fillies in there including the one who was third [Bella Aurora] for Mike Trombetta that came back and won an allowance well. She's just getting bigger and stronger and better. Hopefully, her better races are in front of her."
Her sire, the New York-bred Hangover Kid, stands for a modest $2,500 fee at Mrs. Audrey Murray's Murmur Farm in Maryland. He won the 2013 West Point at Saratoga and the 2014 Grade 2 Bowling Green at Belmont, which gives Lynch hope of stretching Miss J McKay out in distance.
"He was a very useful racehorse and deserves an opportunity as a sire. Maybe she'll help," said Lynch. "I did go to see him after the filly broke her maiden and I met Mrs. Murray and had a look at the horse. We bought Miss J McKay's full brother privately. He seems to stamp a really nice horse. We'll see. It's a good family and the cross worked on the first one, so hopefully lightning strikes again."
A good result in Sunday's six furlong outer turf test could propel Miss J McKay to the $100,000 Tepin, a 1 1/16-mile turf test on December 1 at the Big A.
"We've worked her quite a bit further. We've had mile and an eighth works with her here at Laurel and I don't think the distance would be a problem for her," said Lynch. "We were trying to get to the Breeders' Cup and we didn't want to go changing things with going long and cutting back, so we just kept her sprinting."
Miss J McKay posted a bullet half-mile breeze in 47.40 seconds on the Laurel main on Sunday.
"She's always worked quick. It's just the way she does it," said Lynch. "We're happy with the way she came out of it."
McCarthy retains the mount on Miss J McKay from post 10.
To win the Stewart Manor, Miss J McKay will have to topple a full field which includes stakes-winner Karak and impressive maiden winner Enola Gay.
Trained by Wesley Ward for Breeze Easy, Karak won by three lengths in her May 25 debut on the Belmont turf. The Karakontie bay exited that victory to an off-the-board finish in the Windsor Castle at Ascot on June 10, but returned to form on August 3 when 2 ¼-lengths the best in the Tyro, a five-furlong turf sprint at Monmouth. Last out, on October 5 at Belmont, Karak was bumped at the start in the Grade 3 Matron en route to finishing fourth.
Irad Ortiz, Jr. will pilot Karak from post 6.
Allen Stable's Enola Gay, a bay daughter of Uncle Mo trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, swept to a 1 ½-length debut score on September 12 in a key 6 ½-furlong maiden tilt that saw the second and third-place finishers, Craft Woods and Pass the Plate, graduate next out on the Keeneland turf.
Jose Lezcano takes over from Julien Leparoux out of post 5.
Rounding out the field are Masque d'Oiseau [post 1, Nik Juarez], Time Limit [post 2, Manny Franco], Lucrezia [post 3, John Velazquez], Violent Point [post 4, Junior Alvarado], Classy Sadie [post 7, Eric Cancel], Fly So Pretty [post 8, Joel Rosario], A Freud of Mama [post 9, Jose Ortiz], Bayerly Seen [post 11, Javier Castellano], , and Mosienko [post 12, Kendrick Carmouche].
Spanish Point is entered for the main-track only.
The Stewart Manor is slated as Race 9 on Sunday's 10-race card, which also features the $150,000 NYSSS Staten Island in Race 8. First post is 12 p.m. Eastern.