by Najja Thompson
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - One day after capturing the Grade 1 Fourstardave at Saratoga Race Course with Got Stormy, conditioner Mark Casse and owner Gary Barber teamed up again to take Sunday's feature with Eyeinthesky winning the inaugural running of the $100,000 Galway for 3-year-old fillies.
Breaking sharply as the 5-2 post-time favorite with Joel Rosario aboard, Eyeinthesky contently stalked from sixth-position as 5-1 Woodbine-based shipper Sister Peacock led the field of 10 through swift fractions, with the opening quarter-mile going in 21.84 seconds and half in 44.11.
Tipping out wide at the top of the lane, Rosario put Eyeinthesky under a drive as the filly accelerated in deep stretch, with a game Abyssinian also closing strong along the rail. Fully extended in the final yards, the pair passed Sister Peacock, with Eyeinthesky securing the victory by a head over Abyssinian.
Eyeinthesky completed the 5 ½ furlong distance in 1:01.39 on a firm Mellon turf course.
"I was saving a little ground around the turn to give her a chance to go ahead and go on," said Rosario. "For a second, I thought she wasn't going to get there, but she kept coming and coming and got the final jump. Last time when I rode her, I went wide a little bit on the turn and this time, I just saved a little ground. We got there just in time."
The Sky Mesa filly, bred by Rusty Kindratiw in Florida, boosted her career bankroll to $242,536 in earning her second stakes victory in New York this year after winning the Mizdirection on April 14 at Aqueduct Racetrack. Eyeinthesky returned $7.50 for a $2 win wager.
Casse said Eyeinthesky has the potential to raise her game to another level if she can leave the gate consistently as she matures.
"Sometimes, she does [break well], sometimes she doesn't," said Casse. "She's a bit of a nervous filly. We did change the way we took her to the gate to try and calm her down a little bit. I said to Joel, 'Don't be surprised if she breaks like a shot.' It was a good race. A good ride. I wasn't sure she was going to get there until the last jump and even then I wasn't sure.
"Even though this is her second New York stakes win, she's showed some things that there's still some untapped talent there," he added. "It may not come until she's four. I'll probably do similar to what we did with Got Stormy and run her one more time and then give her a few months off and try to bring her back as a 4-year-old."
Completing the field were Brooke Marie, O'Keeffe, Bohemian Bourbon, Missmizz, Karama, Elsa and Chelsea Cloisters. Tobago and Peaceful were scratched.
Live racing resumes Wednesday at Saratoga with a 10-race card, highlighted by the $100,000 Bolton Landing with a first post time of 1:00 p.m. Eastern.