Summer Applause, a 4-year-old Harlan's Holiday filly, captured the second graded stakes of her career in Saturday's Grade 2 Top Flight H. at Aqueduct, rallying from third after six furlongs to win going away by 2 3/4-lengths. Summer Applause won the 2012 Rachel Alexandra S. (G3) at Fair Grounds, her graded stakes debut.
Summer Applause was one of two stakes winners on March 2 for Harlan's Holiday, along with WinStar Farm's promising 3-year-old colt General Election, who scored a come-from-behind win in the $75,000 John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park.
Ridden John Velazquez in her first start for trainer Chad Brown, Summer Applause settled in third as long shot Natalie Victoria led through an opening quarter-mile in 23.52 seconds and a half in 47.05. As Natalie Victoria weakened, Summer Applause moved up three-wide to confront Sisterly Love on the far turn, taking command in mid-stretch to cross the wire in 1:44.10 for the 1 1/16 miles.
“When the two horses (Natalie Victoria and Withgreatpleasure) didn’t break, I tried to just come out and get a nice position going into the first turn,” said Velazquez. “At the 3 ½ (furlong marker), I let her go. I watched the races, and it seemed like if she is close to the pace she finishes better. Last time I didn’t ride her, but she was too far back and didn’t really put in any effort. Today, she’s where she wanted to be.”
“She shipped in (to New York), she’s had no problems with the weather or the climate change and she’s been training well the two days she’s been here,” said Brown’s assistant, Cherie DeVaux of Summer Applause, who carries the colors of Gillian S. Campbell, Greenwood Lodge Farm (also her breeder), Dan Clark and Greg Skoda. “She looks great and they did a really good job with her in Florida getting her ready to come up here for today.”
Summer Applause is now 4-2-0 in nine starts, earning $472,406. She is out of the unraced mare Summer Exhibition, a half-sister to the multiple graded stakes winning millionaire Recoup the Cash.