ELMONT, N.Y. — Dixie Serenade, a Pennsylvania-bred filly racing for the Uptowncharliebrown (the name of her sire) Stud, got up in the final strides to win Belmont Park's $150,000, Grade 3 Victory Ride Stakes Sunday afternoon.
The 3-year-old daughter of the Malibu Moon mare Moonlight Serenade, whose three previous wins were all at Parx Racing, was sent to the post as the second longest shot on the tote board at odds of 47 to 1. Mychel Sanchez, a regular at Parx, was aboard for trainer Ed Coletti.
After a bumping incident with the favored Mia Mischief coming out of the gate, Dixie Serenade settled into sixth place in the field of eight 3-year-old fillies and stayed there until they turned into the home stretch of the 6-1/2-furlong dash on the main track.
At that point, she picked off her opponents and crossed under the wire a neck winner over Classy Act and Brian Hernandez, Jr. Sower and Irad Ortiz, Jr. were another half length back in third in the race that was run in 1:16.57 on a fast surface.
The Victory Ride was Dixie Serenade's fourth trip to the winners' circle from 11 starts. She collected $87,000 for her effort to raise her lifetime earnings over the quarter of a million dollar mark.
After the race, Coletti may have been as much in awe as some of the bettors when he said, "I was surprised that she won. I wasn't going to be surprised that she hit the board. I was surprised that she came up the rail and ran the way she did.
"It was his [Mychel Sanchez's] decision [to come to ride her]. I asked him if he wanted to come and he said, 'absolutely.' So, we just went with what was working. He rides her well. He fits her great."
When asked about Dixie Serenade's next race, the veteran conditioner said the Aug. 4 running of Saratoga's $500,000, Grade 1 Test Stakes at seven furlongs “Is going to be on our radar. I'm not sure what the next plan is yet, but it's definitely going to be on our radar."
Following her Victory Ride, it's a sure bet Dixie Serenade will not pay $97.50 for a $2 win bet if she wins her next race.
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