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with jockey Julien Leparoux
Allen Stable’s homebred Enola Gay edged past Walk In Marrakesh (IRE) in the final jump to win the Appalachian (G2) Presented by Japan Racing Association by a nose.
Trained by Shug McGaughey and ridden by Julien Leparoux, Enola Gay covered the mile on a firm turf in a stakes-record 1:33.97. It is the third Appalachian victory for Leparoux, who also won on Check the Label in 2010 and Lady of Venice (FR) in 2006.
Evil Lyn led the field of six through fractions of :23.25 and :46.28 with odds-on favorite Alms tracking in second and Walk In Marrakesh third.
On the far turn, Alms and Walk In Marrakesh moved by the leader while Enola Guy began to move on the far outside. Walk In Marrakesh put Alms away in deep stretch but could not hold off the late surge by Enola Gay.
The victory was worth $90,000 and increased Enola Gay’s earnings to $174,000 with a record of 3-2-0-0.
The Appalachian was her first start in eight months.
A Keeneland sales graduate, Enola Gay is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Uncle Mo out of the War Front mare Dakota Queen. She paid $12.60, $5.20 and $2.60. Walk In Marrakesh, ridden by Jose Ortiz, returned $4.40 and $2.40 with Alms finishing only head back and returning $2.10 to show under Joel Rosario.
It was another 1¼ lengths back to Evil Lyn, who was followed in order by Passion Factor and Mariafoot (FR).
Appalachian Presented by Japan Racing Association Quotes
Julien Leparoux: “I was in a good spot the whole race. The 3 (Evil Lyn) and 4 (Alms) – I got going with them. Coming to the stretch, (Enola Gay) just went on. She fought hard. At the wire, I thought I won it. But when I came back I saw the outrider pick up the 6 (second-place Walk In Marrakesh [IRE]). I thought maybe I was too late. But she got it done.
“My filly, she just kept going. She fought hard the whole way.”
Winning trainer Shug McGaughey: “I couldn’t tell (if she had won). I kind of called it the other way, but then I got a text that said ‘Boom’ and I knew I was all right.
“She had trained really well up here (in New York). We were taking a little shot. She hadn’t run for a while, but she had trained so well. She had been finishing up in her races really good, but it looked to me when they turned for home there she might (not win). Julien got her to the outside, and she kicked in. They ran fast. We’re very pleased, I’m very, very pleased.
“It looks like to me now that she wants to run a little bit farther. So we’ll see how she comes out of it. She’ll go to Saratoga tomorrow.”