OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Glass Ceiling came home 2 ¼ lengths clear of Call On Mischief to take the $100,000 Garland of Roses at Aqueduct Racetrack on Saturday, giving trainer and co-owner Charlton Baker back-to-back victories in the stakes. A six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up, the Garland of Roses was the first stakes win of Glass Ceiling’s career.
The 8-5 post-time favorite in the field of seven, Glass Ceiling broke from post position 6 with Dylan Davis up and settled at the back of the pack, racing three-wide as Sadie Lady led the field through an opening quarter mile in 22.27 seconds over the sloppy and sealed main track. Inching a bit closer at the half-mile pole, Glass Ceiling was swung to the outside and came under a ride from Davis rounding the turn to try and catch Sadie Lady.
Driving down the lane to the finish, Davis kept busy on the daughter of Constitution, rousing her to find more at the end and overtake the lead at the furlong pole. Glass Ceiling drew away from runner-up Call On Mischief at the sixteenth-pole and stopped the clock in a final time of 1:11.19.
Davis said the track condition led him to choose an outside path for the filly.
“The kickback was really bothering her,” said Davis. “I just tried to get on heels behind the four [Just Read It] and the three [Letmetakethiscall] and save some ground, but she just wasn’t handling it. I just opted to come outside. She’s way better than what she was doing down the backside and I was able to get her in the clear. I had to sacrifice some ground for her to have some clean air and once she came out, she came with a full run.”
Davis guided Glass Ceiling to an allowance score in September ahead of a runner-up effort to Lady Rocket last out in a division of the Pumpkin Pie in October, both at Belmont Park.
“She’s nice to ride and she does everything well,” Davis said. “Charlie does a good job with her and I think we’re going to have a good time this winter.”
Baker echoed Davis’ sentiments about the off-track.
“She didn’t handle the kickback very well,” Baker said. “Once she turned for home and got clear, it seemed like she was doing it well. She’s a nice filly and she tries all the time. She’s getting there. She’s definitely on the improve. Hopefully, she has more in the tank to go forward. That’s what we’re gambling on.”
Runner-up in the faster division of the seven-furlong Pumpkin Pie in her prior start, Baker said the cutback in distance did not benefit Glass Ceiling.
“Seven-eighths might be a little more her distance, but I think she’s sharp enough where she’s comfortable with six furlongs,” Baker said.
Call On Mischief, who exited the inside post under Jose Lezcano, saved ground in fourth and raced along the rail up the backstretch and into the turn before being swung to the center of the racetrack. Under a strong ride, she made her bid for Glass Ceiling but could not match her foe and settled for second.
“She ran a huge race,” Lezcano said. “The winner has just been running so well lately. My filly gave me her race, she did nothing wrong.”
The New York-bred Letmetakethiscall finished third, 2 ½ lengths the better of fellow state-bred Sadie Lady, who tired and held on to fourth over Song River by a nose to round out the superfecta.
Starfront and Just Read It completed the order of finish.
Now with a stakes victory to her credit, Baker says a start in the $100,000 Interborough on January 15 at Aqueduct may be on the table for Glass Ceiling.
“I think we’re going to go until February and then give her a break until the spring and then get her back,” Baker said. “That’s my plan right now. I’m looking at the [Interborough] and then maybe Maryland in February.”
Glass Ceiling banked $55,000 for her Garland of Roses victory, increasing her total purse winnings to $332,612 and improving her record to 5-6-4 from 23 starts. A $2 win wager on Glass Ceiling returned $5.30.
Glass Ceiling’s victory was the third Garland of Roses win for Baker, who took down last year’s running with Honor Way and the 2014 edition with Expression.
Garland of Roses Replay
Live racing resumes Sunday with a nine-race card to wrap up week one of the winter meet at the Big A. First post is 12:20 p.m. Eastern.
America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the winter meet at Aqueduct Racetrack on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/tv-schedule.
NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Aqueduct Racetrack, and the best way to bet every race of the winter meet. Available to horseplayers nationwide, the NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at www.NYRABets.com.
By Mary Eddy/NYRA Press Office
Photo: Glass Ceiling (Susie Raisher)