Miss J McKay returns to winning ways in $100K License Fee

May 1, 2022

ELMONT, N.Y. – Madaket Stables, Wonder Stables, Tony Weintraub and Brandon Dalinka’s Miss J McKay returned to winning form under Irad Ortiz, Jr., sprinting to victory in Sunday’s $100,000 License Fee for older fillies and mares going six furlongs on the inner turf at Belmont Park.

The Christophe Clement trainee was last seen finishing third in an off-the-turf edition of the Captiva Island on March 13 over the synthetic at Gulfstream Park. She stretched out by an extra furlong to earn her third career victory in 15 starts.

 The 5-year-old daughter of Hangover Kid was placed in stalking position by Ortiz, Jr. from post 3 as Igloo took command from Gogo Shoes and led the field of six through an opening quarter-mile in 22.30 seconds over the firm footing. Miss Majorette and Dylan Davis tracked in fifth with the field spread out through a half-mile in 45.58. 

Ortiz, Jr., who won three races on the card, was patient aboard Miss J McKay down the backstretch, keeping her in the two-path as Igloo held on to a precarious lead along the rail. He needed to give just one shake of the reins for Miss J McKay to kick into gear near the eighth pole and easily widen her margin to finish 3 1/4 lengths ahead of the late-closing Miss Majorette, who made a flying finish down the center of the racetrack to secure place honors by a three-quarters of a length over Igloo. Miss J McKay completed the six furlongs in a speedy 1:07.94.

Alwayz Late, Too Sexy and Gogo Shoes completed the order of finish. Assertive Style was scratched.

Ortiz, Jr. said he was pleased with his trip.

“There was only one other speed, so I thought I could sit second and it worked out good for me,” said Ortiz, Jr. “I ended up right there close to them and when I asked her to go, she responded very well. She came home very fast.”

Clement, who also won three races on the card, said he agreed with Ortiz, Jr.’s tactics. 

“I told Irad just to be comfortable wherever he was,” Clement said. “We knew there was only one speed on paper and just to be comfortable. She really exploded in the stretch today. It was a very good time.”

Miss J McKay made her return to six furlongs after a trio of outings going five furlongs at Gulfstream Park, which included a victory in the Abundantia on December 31 and a troubled fourth in the Lady’s Turf Sprint where she was pinched at the start and rallied to just miss show honors.

Clement said the victory was redemption for the trouble Miss J McKay has faced in her recent outings.

“She ran well in Florida and was very unlucky in her last two starts,” Clement said. “In one, she stumbled really badly and last time they took it off the grass and put it on the Poly. She’s much better on the turf, but she ran well that day.”

Clement also conditions the 4-5 post-time favorite Too Sexy, who broke slow and provided a mild run in the stretch to finish fifth. The daughter of Quality Road had entered from a five-month layoff and was last seen finishing a close second in the Autumn Days on November 28 at Aqueduct.

“She was at the back and a little erratic in the first part, but then she settled. She came wide in the stretch and was beat not even two lengths by the second horse,” Clement said. “She was a little bit rusty, but she ran well. She will improve from that and be OK next time.”

Clement said the seven-furlong Grade 3, $200,000 Intercontinental on June 10 at Belmont may be the next stop for both Miss J McKay and Too Sexy. 

“You have to train them both for it, but we’ll keep all our options open,” said Clement.

Dylan Davis said Miss Majorette, who also last raced in the Autumn Days, gave a good effort off the layoff. 

“I was happy with where I was at. Once she was able to punch through she kicked into another gear and finished great for me,” said Davis. “The winner was running away, but she had a nice, solid second.” 

Bred in Maryland by Linda Oliff Rohleder, Miss J McKay returned $7.80 for a $2 win ticket. She earned $55,000 for her effort, boosting her total purse earnings to $385,373 and improving her record to 15-5-4-3. Her other stakes victory came as a juvenile sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs in the Anne Arundel County at Laurel Park.

Live racing resumes Thursday at Belmont with a nine-race card. First post is 1:00 p.m. Eastern. 

By Mary Eddy/NYRA Press Release

Photo: Chelsea Durand

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