Saturday, July 27, 2013
Lighthouse Bay triumphs in Grade 1 Prioress to give Speightstown 6th Graded SW of 2013
Lighthouse Bay's half-length score in the $300,000 Prioress S. (G1) at Saratoga gave Speightstown his eighth Grade 1 winner, 20th Graded stakes winner, from his first five crops. The victory was the third career added-money score for Lighthouse Bay, but was the first graded win for the 3-year-old filly.
Speightstown's excellent year has put him at or near the top in several categories on the 2013 General Sire list. He leads all Kentucky stallions by earnings; His 19 stakes wins is best among all stallions; and his 39 repeat winners is also tops among all stallions. Speightstown ranks second or third nationwide by Grade 1 winners, stakes winners, and graded stakes winners.
The Prioress, the only Grade 1 six-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies in the country, was also trainer George Weaver's first career Grade 1 win.
A Richlyn Stables homebred, Lighthouse Bay took the Prioress from a couple of lengths off the pace, rallying past leader Wildcat Lily near the rail from fourth place to win by a half-length in a time of 1:09.29 under jockey Joe Rocco, Jr.
"The three horses I thought were the horses to beat in the race all kind of lined up in front of me," Rocco said. "I was able to get to the rail and save ground behind them. When I called on her to shoot through on the rail, I had plenty of horse."
After finishing third in the $100,000 Miss Preakness S. at Pimlico in May and winning the Jostle S. on June 8 at Parx Racing, Lighthouse Bay won for the fourth time in seven starts. The $180,000 first-place purse increased her lifetime earnings to $350,706.
"I thought she'd be capable of maybe doing this at some point, and when this race came up with a short field . . . we decided with the owner to go ahead and go in this race," Weaver said of the Prioress.
Weaver said he would consider running Lighthouse Bay next in the Grade 1, $500,000 Test at seven furlongs on August 24, Travers Day at the Spa.