Holiday Disguise wins Broadway Stakes with patented closing rally

Saturday, February 16th, 2019

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Lady Sheila Stable’s Holiday Disguise got back to her winning ways Saturday when she parlayed her patented closing rally into an open-length victory in Aqueduct’s featured $100,000 Broadway Stakes for New York-bred fillies and mares four-years-old and up at six furlongs.

A 5-year-old daughter of Harlan’s Holiday trained by Linda Rice, Holiday Disguise was last seen finishing a disappointing sixth in the Iroquois Stakes on Empire Showcase Day, a performance that belied the mare’s consistently outstanding efforts on the racetrack for the past two years.

On-the-board in nine straight races at three and four and, at one point, stringing together four straight wins, Holiday Disguise collected stakes victories in the Bouwerie Stakes and Biogio’s Rose – in back-to-back starts eight months apart – the Grade 3 Distaff Handicap and the Critical Eye Stakes for New York-breds. The top-earner in the intriguing Broadway field with history of running well fresh, Holiday Disguise was nevertheless overshadowed in the betting by Broman homebred Pauseforthecause, who was bet down to 4-5. Holiday Disguise was sent off as the 9-2 second choice.

After the break, Holiday Disguise settled in her customary position at the rear of the field while, up front, multiple stakes winner and confirmed speedster Filibustin battled for the lead with Absatootly, also a multiple stakes winner, through a testing quarter-mile in 22.31.

On the backstretch Holiday Disguise advanced between horses and, by the time the field was rounding the far turn, put herself into contention in fourth, a little earlier than usual.

Angling out at the top of the stretch and moving in tandem with stablemate Startwithsilver to her outside, Holiday Disguise started doing what she does best: gobbling up ground in the lane.

NYRA/Elsa Lorieul

Passing Absatootly, now back into third, Holiday Disguise collared new leader Pauseforthecause with a furlong to go, and widened her lead to 4 1/4 lengths by the time she crossed the finish line. After a half-mile in 45.90, she stopped the clock at 1:11.13 for the six furlongs.

Runner-up Pauseforthecause finished 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Palladian Bridge (15-1), followed in short order by Absatootly and Startwithsilver. Further back, Filibustin, I Still Miss You and Queeb completed the order of finish. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Winning jockey Jose Lezcano explained his game plan as follows: “[Holiday Disguise] looks like she’s more comfortable when she’s outside horses. She broke a little behind but picked it up and went behind [Pauseforthecause]. When I asked her, she kicked very good. There was plenty of speed and my filly can really finish.”

Linda Rice noted that while she thought Holiday Disguise was fit and ready, she was anxious about the race dynamics for her her late-running charge coming into the Broadway. “I was a little concerned because the track has been favoring speed for the last couple of days,” Rice said. “So, that was definitely a concern and also ‘Holiday’ really hasn’t had success [at the distance]. I don’t think she’s ever won a race at six furlongs, though she’s obviously capable of it.” Holiday Disguise has done her best work in longer sprints up to a mile and, coming into the Broadway, was winless in two tries at six panels.

Holiday Disguise was bred by Dr. William B. Wilmot and Dr. Joan M. Taylor and foaled at Gallagher’s Stud in Ghent. She is out of Wilmot and Taylor’s Thin Disguise (Yes It’s True), a winning half-sister to millionaire and 2007 New York-bred Horse of the Year Naughty New Yorker out of star broodmare Naughty Natisha.

Thin Disguise has produced four winners from five foals to start. Midnight Disguise (Midnight Lute), Holiday’s Disguise’s talented younger sister, has three stakes wins to her credit, namely the Bouwerie Stakes (like her sister) and the Busanda and Busher Stakes. Currently, Thin Disguise has a juvenile filly by Tiznow, a yearling filly by Bodemeister and was bred to Gun Runner in 2018.

Holiday Disguise sold first as a weanling, purchased by John Greathouse for $70,000 at the Keeneland November sale. Rice bought her for Sheila Rosenblum’s Lady Sheila Stable the following year, going to $220,000 at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale.

The mare’s fifth career stakes victory boosts her bankroll to $554,875 and improves her record to seven wins, a second and two thirds from 13 starts.


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