Miss Lily B wins one for the home team in Niagara Stakes

Monday, June 17th, 2019

SV Photography

By Sarah Mace

The field of six lined up for Finger Lakes’ $50,000 Niagara Stakes Monday was equally divided between NYRA invaders and Finger Lakes-based runners. Of the players for the home team, Ronald A. Brown’s homebred Miss Lily B appeared to have the most upside on paper and did not disappoint, scoring a dominant victory in the annual six-furlong sprint for New York-bred 3-year-old fillies.

The luck of the draw landed the NYRA shippers in posts 1-3. Lined up from the rail out were Franklin Square winner Stonesintheroad, Elegant Zip with placings in four New York-bred stakes and Cartwheelin Lulu, winner of the Joseph A. Gimma. Of the three, only “Lulu” had a prior start over the racetrack, having broken her maiden at first asking in Farmington last August.

Exiting posts 4-6 were the locals: Twice For Honey, looking for a third career victory but with ground to make up in the Beyer department, eventual winner Miss Lily B, and stakes-placed Wait a Minute.

A chestnut daughter of Yes It’s True and never out of the exacta in seven prior starts for trainer Chris Englehart, Miss Lily B. was the clear third choice in the betting at 5-1 behind odds-on favorite Stonesintheroad and 9-5 Elegant Zip. The lightbulb seems to have come on for this filly in her final start of 2018, when she broke her maiden on November 28 following four runner-up efforts. She came into her stakes debut undefeated in two 2019 allowance starts, which she won by a combined nine lengths.

Miss Lily B showed her hand under John Davila immediately after the bell, charging to the front and opening up a length. Cartwheelin Lulu then charged up the inside to issue a challenge, and the pair hooked up through snappy quarter in 22.18.

Miss Lily B easily turned back her challenger by the approach to the far turn and regained a clear lead by the time the half ticked by in 45.66.

As Miss Lily B straightened away for the dash home, expanding her lead the whole time, it was immediately clear that no rival was close enough to pose a threat. Instead the battle was going to be for second among Elegant Zip at the rail, Cartwheelin Lulu in the two-path and Stonesintheroad three-wide.

Miss Lily B poured it on in the stretch, cruising under the wire to win by 7 1/4 lengths and stopping the clock over the fast going in a strong final time of 1:10.63.

Favorite Stonesintheroad out-finished Cartwheelin Lulu to claim second by 1/2 length, while Elegant Zip followed up 2 3/4 lengths further back. Wait a Minute and Twice for Honey completed the order of finish. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Miss Lily B, who has earned $84,220 from four firsts and four seconds in eight starts, is the only foal produced by Magnificent Mia, a Kentucky-bred 7-time winner by Jump Start whom Brown campaigned for four seasons. Brown purchased Magnificent Mia for $14,500 at the 2008 Fasig-Tipton October yearling sale.

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