ARCADIA, CA – The rain may have chased her off of the turf, but Nick Alexander’s homebred S Y Sky paid it no mind, fighting hard to defeat the 4/5 favorite Belvoir Bay in Sunday’s $200,000 Monrovia Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park.
Breaking from post 2 under Drayden Van Dyke as the 2/1 second choice, S Y Sky bolted ahead to the lead early, but Van Dyke soon eased her back once he saw Lady Suebee rocket to the front in an opening 1/4-mile time of :21.76. Tipping out to run three wide by the time she exited the far turn, S Y Sky began chasing down Lady Suebee and Belvoir Bay in the middle.
Fighting hard with every step, S Y Sky edged past the bettors’ choice in the shadow of the wire before crossing with a 3/4-length advantage. The Phil D’Amato trainee’s winning time was :57.54 for the 5-furlong sprint over the fast main track.
“Phil told me she’s fast, but she can be tactical also,” Van Dyke said. “We broke sharp, but I was able to take her back and she finished really well.”
Lady Suebee weakened in the final furlong to finish third, 2 1/4 lengths behind Belvoir Bay and the same distance ahead of Spectator in fourth. Flammetta, Rocky Policy, and Painting Corners completed the order of finish.
Because the race was originally scheduled for the turf, four entries scratched: A Little Bit Me, Ginger Nut, Gliding By, and Poster Girl.
S Y Sky’s win was her second straight, following the Camilla Urso Stakes at Golden Gate Fields on April 27, and came in her graded stakes debut. The California-bred 5-year-old daughter of Grazen improved her record to 13-7-5-1 with $662,320 earned.
“I thought she was doing well, but I’ve got to give the credit to Drayden Van Dyke,” D’Amato said. “She popped on top and she was in control, but Drayden realized the top two were really smoking, so he eased her back and that was the winning move. We’re looking forward to campaigning her the rest of the year.”
S Y Sky returned $6.20 to win, $2.60 to place, and $2.10 to show. Belvoir Bay brought back $2.40 to place and $2.10 to show, while Lady Suebee paid $3 to show.