MEAN MARY thrilled her many, many fans again this afternoon with a tremendous performance in the $750,000 New York Stakes-G2. The day turned into a real nail-biter with severe storms, heavy rains and dangerous lightning slamming Belmont Park about an hour before post time. The race prior to the New York Stakes – the Bed O’Roses Stakes – was delayed for quite a while before being run over the sealed dirt track. The status of the New York Stakes was briefly in question but remained on the grass with three scratches.
Interviewed by NBC Sports’ Laffit Pincay before the race, Graham confirmed that Mean Mary had not previously contested a turf course quite so yielding. His instructions to regular rider Luis Saez remained unchanged; the plan was to let her roll on as she usually does and make no changes to her running style.
As soon as the gates sprang open, it was apparent that Mean Mary brought her A Game – she got away as if she’d been fired from a cannon! The softer footing was clearly no issue for Mr. Alex G. Campbell, Jr.’s 5-year-old homebred daughter of Scat Daddy – Karlovy Vary (by Dynaformer). She led wire to wire exactly as she pleased, holding off a powerful late charge from the Joseph O’Brien-trained Thundering Nights (IRE) to win by a nose.
Today’s win marked back-to-back stakes victories for Mean Mary, coming three weeks after her score in Pimlico’s Gallorette Stakes-G3 on Preakness Day. It was also her second triumph in the New York Stakes, repeating her 2020 success. It raises her total number of graded stakes wins to five. Her impressive career statistics now read 11-7-2-0 with earnings of $1,006,160.
Penelope Miller photo: Mean Mary defeats Thundering Nights (IRE) in the New York Stakes-G2 at Belmont Park, June 4, 2021.