ELMONT, N.Y. – Covering plenty of ground in only two starts in one month’s time, Stonestreet Stables’ Chardy Party (IRE) earned her first graded stakes triumph at first asking in Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Soaring Softly over the Widener turf at Belmont Park.
Chardy Party, trained by Wesley Ward, arrived at the seven-furlong test for sophomore fillies off her career debut in a 5 1/2-furlong turf maiden win on April 27 at Keeneland, where she broke slowly and still managed to make up ten lengths to win. Now unbeaten in two starts, Chardy Party had no issues with the added distance, showing more energy from the gate and gamely battling to the outside of Sail By in the stretch drive while fending off a late rally from Breeze Easy (GB) to take Saturday’s race by a neck under Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Chardy Party broke from the outside in the nine-horse field as longshot Champagne Poetry broke sharp from her inside post to mark an opening quarter-mile in 22.88 seconds over the firm going. Meanwhile, Chardy Party, maintained outside position in fifth 3 1/2 lengths off the pace. Chardy Party began making steady progress as the field approached the far turn through a half in 46.38, launching a sweeping four-wide move in upper stretch.
Sail By took command past the quarter pole with Chardy Party finding herself on even terms to her outside with Breeze Easy still saving ground a length back. Under a drive from Ortiz, Jr., Chardy Party obtained a narrow advantage at the stretch call as Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano angled Breeze Easy a path wide and in pursuit. But Chardy Party had enough in the tank to secure a narrow victory in a final time of 1:21.47.
Breeze Easy finished another neck ahead of Sail By, who completed the trifecta ahead of a late-charging Wonka.
Derrynane, Ouraika, Lost My Sock, Snow Loves a Fight and Champagne Poetry completed the order of finish.
Anador, Haughty, Wish You Well and main track only entrant Baby Man were scratched.
Ortiz, Jr., who piloted Chardy Party to her maiden score, said a cleaner break allowed him to establish better position.
“She broke much better. Last time she missed the break and still came home like that the last 100 yards,” Ortiz, Jr. recalled. “Today, she was outside – last time she was in the one hole and today she was [on the outside]. She did break good and put me in a great position. I was able to take care of it. I didn’t have to send her just to take the hole. After that, I bided my time and asked her to run. I knew she was going to be there for me, so I waited as long as I could. Turning for home, I saw the other horse to the inside and said, ‘I’ve got to go.’”
Ortiz, Jr. said he noticed a step forward in maturity from Chardy Party.
“She ran very straightforward today and she looks like she’s improving a little,” Ortiz, Jr. said. “Her mind is getting better. Last time, she was changing leads in and out and today she was very straightforward. It looks like she’s getting there.”
Ward, who won the 2018 Soaring Softly with Nootka Sound, noted a change in tactics in Chardy Party’s morning training over Belmont’s inner turf.
“We worked her two works ago and had her in front of Duke of Hazzard who ran second in the Seek Again the other day,” Ward said. “She kind of floundered when she was in front. In last week’s work, we put her behind and she worked really well. When she made the lead today, she was gawking around a little bit. I think she’s one of those that wants to come from behind.”
Following added ground in the Soaring Softly, Ward did not rule out stretching Chardy Party out a little bit further.
“It looks to me like she has a big, long stride and she’s progressing really nicely,” Ward said. “She went five and a half [furlongs] at Keeneland and made one big run. She ran really well today. Certainly, a mile looks like something she would be able to handle. We’ll sit down with the Stonestreet crew and Ben McElroy and come up with a plan for her.”
Returning $6.50 as the post time second choice, Chardy Party banked $55,000 in victory which enhanced her total earnings to $88,945.
Selected by bloodstock agent Ben McElroy out of the 2020 Tattersalls October Sale for nearly $150,000, Chardy Party is the first progeny out of the stakes-winning Pastoral Pursuits mare Spiritual Lady.
Live action resumes on Sunday afternoon with a nine-race card, featuring the $100,000 Paradise Creek for sophomore colts going seven furlongs over the Widener turf in Race 8. First post is 1 p.m. Eastern.
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By Ryan Martin/NYRA Press Office
Photo: Chardy Party (Susie Raisher)