Congrats' up-and-coming 3-year-old filly Holiday Magic set a seven-furlong stakes record of 1:22.69 at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday in the $75,000 Stonehedge Farm South Sophomore Fillies S. (VIDEO
Champion Sire Congrats has had five winners in the past week, including in a pair of maiden special weight contests.
Holiday Magic broke very alertly from post 6 and was immediately in a four-way tussle for the lead, but jockey Juan Leyva took back to fourth. Full of run around while three wide on the turn, Leyva found an opening on the rail, sprinting quickly through and drawing away powerfully in the final furlong.
“She has only been off the board twice, and those were both at Gulfstream against very tough company, but she’s been doing very well,” winning trainer Bill Kaplan said. “I always thought she could do very well sprinting, and we may keep her there now.”
“(Leyva) was sitting behind horses up the backstretch and had a big hold on her,” Kaplan said. “He did a nice job getting her to relax and had a ton of horse, and he made a very deft move going to the inside with her, like he did with (Kaplan's Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner) Musical Romance. That’s what makes Juan special.”
“She can be very aggressive early, but with blinkers on, it seemed to help her focus,” said Leyva. “She broke well and I was able to take her back and drop over. Getting to the stretch, I asked her for run but there were a couple of the early leaders outside, so I dropped her over to the rail and she really responded.”
Holiday Magic was bred in Florida by NTS Stable, Inc., and is owned by Pinnacle Racing Stables, Jack H. Hendricks and Roger L. Justice.
Pinnacle is a partnership headed by Adam Lazarus, who also owned Musical Romance.
Holiday Magic is now 3-1-3 in nine lifetime starts, including a win in the $85,000 Brave Raj S. at Calder as a 2-year-old.