Breaking from the rail, Thundering Sky sat in third position tracking longshot Proper Discretion who raced forward setting fractions of 24.37 seconds for the opening quarter mile and 48.07 for the half.
With 4-5 post-time favorite On Leave to his outside, Thundering Sky continued to stalk the leader as Proper Discretion began to tire at the top of the stretch. Emerging down the lane at the sixteenth-pole with Bar of Gold, On Leave, and Elysea’s World, Thundering Sky swung out briefly to the two-path and then back to the rail, holding off On Leave to secure the victory by a neck.
Thundering Sky completed the one-mile distance in 1:35.42 over a firm inner turf course.
“I just wanted to be patient with her because I thought that she would have one strong run at the end,” said Maragh. “When I asked her in the stretch, she really gave it a good kick. It was my first time riding her and they said she had a tendency to do that [carry the rider high], and today I tried to keep her focused. I think she was loafing a little bit, but now that I have a feel for her, I think I can do even better next time.”
“Today, she put it together,” said winning trainer George Weaver. “Rajiv gave her a great ride. He timed it perfectly. She ran a big race. We have seen her press and put her on the lead a few times and we were adamant that we were not going to do that. Some of the horses that scratched were going to show speed anyway, so the speed in front of us was going to help. But there were still a couple [of speed horses] in there, so we were able to stalk and pounce on them and it worked out.”
Following On Leave in second was Bar of Gold, Elysea’s World, Sky My Sky, Light In Paris, Laur Net and Proper Discretion completing the order of finish. Sassy Little Lila, Freudie Anne, Puca, Boreale and Clipthecouponannie were scratched from the race.
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