By Sarah Mace
The engagingly-named Fingerpainter (Nobiz Like Shobiz) got up just in time to put a head in front of 1-4 rival Absatootly and annex the $50,000 Niagara Stakes at Finger Lakes on Monday at odds 18-1. The six-furlong dash was carded for 3-year-old New York-bred fillies.
Out of the gate the quickest of six, Fingerpainter took back into third, allowing the heavy favorite Absatootly to dictate the pace through swift early fractions of 22.46 and 46.00.
Moving up into second around the three-sixteenths marker, Fingerpainter set her sights on the leader, but stakes winner Absatootly still led by more than a length within the furlong grounds and was being ridden with complete confidence.
Never saying “die,” jockey Gabriel Suarez kept Fingerpainter digging to the wire, and the dark bay filly had enough left in the tank for a final surge. She collared Absatootly just at the finish and scored her victory by a head. Fabulous Dream finished three lengths back in in third. Completing the order of finish were Beach Princess, Queen of New York and Ohmygollymsmolly. Ask Mae and Wonderment were scratched. The final time was 1:11.35. [VIDEO]
Fingerpainter, who is owned and trained by Timothy Murphy, had tried stakes competition at the Farmington oval twice at two, finishing well back in the Lady Finger Stakes last September, and, after breaking her maiden in an intervening start, running a close second in the Shesastonecoldfox Stakes in November. Before the Niagara, the filly shook off the winter rust with two conditioned allowance starts two weeks apart at Finger Lakes, finishing off the board on May 16, and second over good going on May 30.
Fingerpainter was bred by Richard and Kay Zwirn and foaled at their Rainbow Fields Farm in Gansevoort. She is one of four winners from five foals to start out of Twinkie Zone, a New York-bred homebred for Very Un Stable. The Zwirns purchased the multiple winner for a song ($1,000) at the 2008 New York mixed sale. The mare currently has a 2-year-old filly by Cosmonaut.
With a record of three wins and two seconds from nine starts, Fingerpainter has earned $71,627.