Glass Ceiling stays unbeaten with Distaff Handicap victory

April 9, 2022

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Glass Ceiling showed she could be a strong contender when capturing the Garland of Roses to conclude her 2021 campaign. The Constitution mare has capitalized on that experience as a 5-year-old, improving to 3-for-3 after overtaking Kept Waiting from the outside and finishing strong for a five-length win in Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Distaff Handicap, a seven-furlong sprint for older fillies and mares, at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Co-owned by Michael Foster along with trainer Charlton Baker, Glass Ceiling started the year with an off-the-pace optional-claiming score in January at Aqueduct before posting a half-length win in her graded stakes debut last out in the Grade 3 Barbara Fritchie in February at Laurel Park, with both wins coming at the Distaff distance.

The 68th running of the Distaff, which kicked off the first of six races on a stacked card highlighted by the Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino, saw Glass Ceiling break sharp form the outermost post carrying 122 pounds with Dylan Davis aboard. Glass Ceiling settled into second position as Kept Waiting led the five-horse field through the opening quarter mile in 22.98 seconds and the half-mile in 45.98 on the fast main track.

Out of the turn, Glass Ceiling stayed within striking distance of Kept Waiting as 3-5 favorite Search Results maintained her position in third. Jockey Kendrick Carmouche maintained Kept Waiting’s position to the inside, but Davis used right-handed encouragement to coax Glass Ceiling, who had plenty in reserve in surging to the wire in a final time of 1:21.71.

Glass Ceiling, bred in Kentucky by Twin Creeks Farm, captured her fourth consecutive race and for the fifth time in her last six starts. Her lone non-winning effort in that span was a narrow head defeat in a division of the Pumpkin Pie in October at Belmont. Sent to post at odds of 2-1, Glass Ceiling returned $6.50 on a $2 win wager. She improved her career earnings to $613,512.

“I watched her, and she was on the muscle the whole time [in the post parade]. But she’s just doing great and she’s on the muscle the same way in the barn going to the track,” Baker said. “It’s nothing new for me to see her like that. I wasn’t concerned. I was glad she was on her toes because I wanted her to get a good break and a good position. I didn’t know how the race was going to set up. I didn’t know if the one [Easy to Bless] was going to go or the five [Kept Waiting]. I was hoping she broke good to get a fair trip.”

Davis, bolstered by winning the first riding title of his career at the recently concluded Aqueduct winter meet that ended March 27, has been aboard in each of her four straight victories.

“She’s on the right path and Charlie is doing a great job with her,” Davis said. “She’s improving with every start, and I enjoy riding her. She does everything right and lays it on the line. I couldn’t be any happier with her today. If I were to have had a challenger late down the lane, she would have a little more extra for me.

“It could be that she’s just maturing, but it could be once Charlie got a hold of her and I was able to get on her – maybe it’s just the jockey and horse combination,” Davis added. “I get along with her well and I think Charlie is the main ingredient behind the success with her.”

Baker said the time between the Distaff and the upcoming Grade 2, $300,000 Bed O’ Roses on June 10 at Belmont could make that a good spot with an eye towards the Grade 1 Ballerina this summer at Saratoga remaining in play.

“The spacing between her races has been great – I figure two months’ time they’ve got another seven-furlong race, so that’s the plan for now. And if everything goes good from there, the prime objective is the Ballerina,” Baker said.

The New York-bred Kept Waiting, trained by Robert Falcone, Jr., entered with a three-race winning streak and produced another strong effort, besting Search Results by 8 1/2 lengths for second. 

Bred by John Lauriello, Kept Waiting, carrying 119 pounds, moved to 5-4-1 in 12 career starts and has finished on the board in 10 of her last 11 starts.

“No speed in the race. I figured to put the horse on the lead and see how far we can carry her,” Carmouche said. “The best horse won the race. My filly ran a game race for second and I think she’ll improve each time she goes out with these horses. Looking for a good future with her.”

Search Results, winner of the Grade 1 Acorn in June at Belmont, was returning off an eight-month layoff from a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Test in August at Saratoga Race Course for trainer Chad Brown. She finished 3 1/2 lengths clear of Zaajel for third as the 123-pound highweight. Easy to Bless completed the order of finish, with Dealing Justice scratched. 

“The filly that won has been running all winter,” said Search Results’ rider Jose Ortiz. “She’s seasoned and doing well. She had good position. Dylan was sitting in the right spot. My filly ran good. It was her first start of the year, and we got it out of the way.”

Live racing resumes Sunday at the Big A with a nine-race card headlined by the $100,000 Top Flight Invitational. First post is 1:20 p.m. Eastern.

America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the spring 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 Brian Bohl/NYRA Press Office
Photo: Glass Ceiling (Janet Garaguso)

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