Whiskey and Rye Smooth Winner of $100,000 Sensible Lady

September 10, 2023

Whiskey and Rye. (Jim McCue/MJC)

David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club

BALTIMORE, Md. – Mens Grille Racing’s Whiskey and Rye, freshened since her prior run-in late June, surged past front-running Spicy Marg exiting the far turn and kept on going through the stretch to spring a four-length upset in an off-the-turf edition of the $100,000 Sensible Lady for fillies and mares 3 and up sprinting five furlongs.

Sent off at odds of 9-1, Whiskey and Rye ($20.80) came into the Sensible Lady having run fifth in the five-furlong The Very One on grass at Pimlico May 19 and second in an off-the-turf optional claimer June 23 at Delaware Park, her prior start.

“She needed a little break,” winning trainer John Robb said. “Five-eighths has been her great distance and she loves the turf, so we were looking forward to running her [on it]. But it worked out great.”

As she did last year, when she ran fourth by two lengths in the Sensible Lady, Wesley Ward-trained Spicy Marg broke sharply and quickly led the way through a quarter-mile in 22.02 seconds on a main track rated good. Whiskey and Rye and jockey Xavier Perez raced just off her right hip with 6-5 favorite Self Isolation third and Sassy Beast fourth.

Perez brought Whiskey and Rye alongside Spicy Marg midway around the turn and shifted down to the rail once clear of the pacesetter in the stretch, crossing the wire in 58.72 seconds. Sassy Beast came with a late run to edge Spicy Marg by three-quarters of a length for second, and it was another three-quarters of a length back to Self Isolation in fourth.

“I’ve got to give all the credit to Xavier because no one could gallop her. He changed the bit and she’s been galloping for the last three weeks,” Robb said. “She laid back there and finished great.”

Whiskey and Rye now owns five wins from starts, the last eight for Robb. When trained by Hamilton Smith she ran behind current stablemate Street Lute in four stakes over the winter and spring of 2020-21. This spring’s The Very One was her first stakes race on the grass.

Turf sprinter Sensible Lady took consecutive runnings of Pimlico’s The Very One in 2012 and 2013, two of her seven wins in 14 starts at 3 and 4. The Street Sense filly was trained by Tim Salzman for Three Lyons Racing, who purchased her for $9,500 as a 2-year-old at Ocala’s April sale. She went on to earn $436,640 from 22 starts. From May 2012 to June 2013, the filly won six stakes while racing at Pimlico, Colonial Downs, Penn National and Saratoga and placed in three others during the 10-race streak.

@JakeBLues23231 @jonathanstettin @PastTheWire and selections were made at 8/1 12/1/10/1 M/L. Must be we are all so far ahead we pound!

Bill Mentes @drbillym View testimonials