Mean Mary keeps on rolling in front-running New York (G2) victory
by Brian Bohl
Alex G. Campbell, Jr.'s Mean Mary broke sharp from the outside post, led the six-horse field through every point of call and extended her lead in the stretch for a front-running 5 1/4-length score in Saturday's Grade 2, $250,000 New York for older fillies and mares at Belmont Park.
Trainer Graham Motion saw Mean Mary start her 4-year-old campaign with consecutive graded stakes wins at Gulfstream Park, starting with the Grade 3 La Prevoyante in January and the Grade 3 Orchid on March 28.
The Scat Daddy filly improved to 3-for-3 in her 2020 campaign, with Luis Saez sending her to the front, where she posted comfortable fractions of 25.11 seconds for the quarter-mile, 51.55 for the half and three-quarters in 1:16.28 on the inner turf course labeled firm even after a slight rain shower earlier.
Out of the far turn, Saez kept Mean Mary driven as she pulled away from the field, completing the 1 ¼-mile course in a final time of 2:01.85.
Mean Mary won for the fourth straight time overall and improved to 5-1-0 in seven career starts. Saez has been aboard for every start during the winning streak.
"I had a lot of confidence in her today," Saez said. "She always does everything right. Today, she was just galloping. The track feels good today and I think the rain helped her. She was super relaxed, even more so than her last race. She feels better now than she did last time."
Off at 6-5, Mean Mary returned $4.40 on a $2 win wager. The Kentucky homebred improved her career earnings to $396,160.
"You always wonder a little bit about Florida; did she just suit that course? But this is so different than running at Gulfstream," Motion said. "The way she did it was pretty impressive. I worried a little bit. You always worry a little bit with that much time away and I wanted to keep her fresh, but she also had to be fit.
"The course took a little bit of rain, but it's so different than what she had been running on," he added. "I think she might be one of those horses where you don't have to make too many excuses."
My Sister Nat, one of two entrants for trainer Chad Brown, edged the Christophe Clement-trained Feel Glorious by a neck for second after rallying from sixth. That marked the second straight race the French-bred daughter of Acclamation finished as the runner up, following her North American graded stakes debut in the Grade 3 Long Island in November at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Call Me Love, also trained by Clement, ran fourth, followed by the Brown-conditioned Fools Gold and Valiance to complete the order of finish. Mrs. Sippy was scratched.
Live racing resumes Sunday with a nine-race card headlined by the $100,000 Bouwerie for New York-bred 3-year-old fillies going seven furlongs on Belmont's Big Sandy in Race 8 at 5:04 p.m. Eastern. First post is 1:15 p.m.