News & Barn notes

Beach Daze Splits Horses Late To Prevail By A Neck Over Riding Pretty In Sunday’s $85,000 Smart N Classy Handicap

June 04, 2023

After spending most of her career at Parx, it appears Beach Daze has found a new home at Monmouth Park.

Able to rally from off the pace, and then boldly splitting horses in deep stretch, Beach Daze prevailed by a neck over Riding Pretty in Sunday’s $85,000 Smart N Classy Handicap for Jersey-breds at Monmouth Park.

The winning time for the mile over a fast main track was 1:38.33.

“We’ll keep her in Jersey-bred company now that she has shown she can win a stakes race,” said Linda Cowan, the assistant to trainer Farrell Mann. “You don’t want to waste those opportunities.”

A late-running second in the six-furlong Spruce Fir Handicap for Jersey-breds in the slop in her last start, Beach Daze benefitted from the extra quarter mile, knifing between Mia’s Crusade on the inside and Riding Pretty on the inside under robust handling by jockey Adam Bowman in the final 50 yards. The 9-5 second choice in the field of eight fillies and mares, Beach Daze notched her first stakes win in her 16th career start.

“We usually don’t bring her back this quickly (15 days) but she showed us that she really wanted to go again,” said Cowan. “She didn’t lose too much last time. She was really energetic at six furlongs. So it set up for this.”

Bowman had the 4-year-old daughter of Blofeld fifth through an opening quarter in 23:05 before Beach Daze began moving up, ducking to the rail entering the final turn. With favored Girl Trouble done after being hooked early on the lead through a half in:46.77, Beach Daze drew even with Mia’s Crusade for the lead heading into the stretch with Riding Pretty wheeling three wide behind those two.

Mia’s Crusade took firm command in mid-stretch with Riding Pretty and Beach Daze both targeting the wearying Spruce Fir winner. Beach Daze then surged late between the two to win. Riding Pretty finished three-quarters of a length ahead of Mia’s Crusade.

“She was sitting three or four lengths behind the leaders down the backside and then about the half-mile she started tugging and telling me she wanted to go,” said Bowman. “I was looking for a spot. I kind of wanted to get her to the outside, but Paco Lopez (aboard Girl Trouble) was drifting out a little. I said, `you know what? I’m going to duck to the inside.’

“She has a big heart. When it’s time to go I know she will give it to me. She didn’t hesitate at all going in between horses in the stretch. I was a little worried at the eighth pole that we were not going to get up. But she put her head down and gave me one last burst that got the job done.”

Owned by All In Racing Stables and JPS Stables, Beach Daze paid $5.60 to win.

She now has a 16-5-6-1 line for her career, with two of her career wins coming at Monmouth Park.