No obstacles in the path to a perfect record for Stonesintheroad in Franklin Square

Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Stonesintheroad, a homebred for Shirl and Mary Ann Penney’s Team Penney Racing, drove her race record to a perfect three-for-three at the Big A on Saturday when she went straight to the front and never looked back in the featured $100,000 Franklin Square for New York-bred 3-year-old fillies.

A chestnut daughter of New York sire Bustin Stones (Waldorf Farm), Stonesintheroad came into the Franklin Square following a pair of good-looking wins by a combined 10 1/4 lengths to begin her career for trainer Jeremiah Englehart.

Debuting at 5 1/2 furlongs at Aqueduct on December 30, she stalked and pounced over “good” going to win a New York-bred maiden special by four lengths. Taking on allowance foes at six furlongs at the same venue on February 3, she made it look even easier, wiring the overmatched field by 6 1/4.

In the Franklin Square Stonesintheroad was sent out for the third straight time as the betting favorite (9-5), despite the stiffer competition, which included undefeated New York Stallion Stakes Fifth Avenue winner Forgotten Hero (8-5) and Flush, a promising youngster trained by Kiaran McLaughlin fresh off a 7 1/2-length maiden-breaking rout on January 11 (2-1).

Flush got out of the gate first from her outside post under Junior Alvarado, but in short order Stonesintheroad darted up along the rail to take over. She led the field through the early splits at a good clip (22.91, 46.12) with Flush pursing a length back second.

NYRA/Susie Raisher

In the far turn Flush made a bid, getting as far as the throatlatch of Stonesintheroad, but the menace was short-lived. Once the field straightened away for the stretch, Stonesintheroad kicked clear and widened her advantage, winning by an uncontested 3 3/4 lengths.

Longshot Wadadli Princess (16-1) outran her odds to finish second, rallying nicely in the lane to nip Flush. Following Flush in order were Maiden Beauty, Quietude and Forgotten Hero, who started poorly. The final time for six furlongs over the fast going was a strong 1:10.66.

Jockey Rajiv Maragh, who had previously ridden both Stonesintheroad and Forgotten Hero and took the former as his first call, said, “I’m very high on this horse, and from the mornings to the races, she’s shown us a lot of ability. We think she can be a special sprinter. She’s really fast naturally, and she got to the lead and got relaxed on the lead. She wasn’t over-pursuing it, so I was really happy. It felt like she was in a good flow and was going to have something left to finish, and she did.”

Englehart feels that with Stonesintheroad the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. “This is a very quick filly. She reminds me a lot of her dad [Bustin Stones] and watching her dad run,” said the conditioner. “She’s quick out of there and she can take it to them early. In her first start, she sat off the early leader and passed her. She’s very versatile and she really enjoys what she’s doing.”

Stonesintheroad, who was foaled at Waldorf Farm in North Chatham, where her sire stands stud, is out of Dixie Talent, an unraced Dixie Union mare who was purchased by Team Penney Racing for $30,000 at the 2008 Keeneland November breeding stock sale.

Dixie Talent has produced six winners from nine foals to start and Stonesintheroad is her first to earn black type. Her top earner is A Shin Ranger by Read the Footnotes, who has bankrolled over $550,000 in Japan. She has a juvenile filly by Big Brown, did not bring a foal to term in 2018 and 2019 and has been already bred back this year to Bustin Stones.

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