Miss Marissa Upsets Favored Bonny South In Black-Eyed Susan

Sent to the post at odds of 10-1 after two straight allowance victories, Alfonso Cammarota’s Miss Marissa was able to fend off the furious late charge of 4-5 favorite Bonny South by a neck to win Saturday’s Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico. Piloted by Daniel Centeno on behalf of trainer James Ryerson, the 3-year-old daughter of He’s Had Enough ran nine furlongs over the fast main track in 1:48.08. It was the first stakes victory for Miss Marissa, earned in her 12th lifetime start.

Miss Marissa was keen early alongside of Mizzen Beau, the pair a length ahead of the rest of the field through early fractions of :23.10 and :46.61. Meanwhile, the favored Bonny South was last of the 10-filly field after being squeezed back a bit at the start (the G1 Alabama runner-up has a late-running style anyway, so it may not have compromised her chances).

Rounding the far turn, Miss Marissa took command from Mizzen Beau and grabbed a two-length lead into the lane. Bonny South weaved in and out of horses to be about six lengths off Miss Marissa at the head of the stretch, but it took her about a sixteenth of a mile to find her best stride.

Bonny South really started to close in the final sixteenth, and Miss Marissa briefly looked in trouble before Centeno asked his filly for just a bit more. Bonny South was able to cut the distance to a neck in the shadow of the wire, but had to settle for second as Miss Marissa got her first stakes victory.

Hopeful Growth closed to finish third ahead of frontrunning Mizzen Beau in fourth.

Bred in Kentucky by Woodford Thoroughbreds, Miss Marissa is out of the winning Arch mare Ardara. She was an $11,000 yearling at the OBS October sale, and required four starts to break her maiden as a 2-year-old. She finished off the board in two graded stakes efforts last year, but returned as a 3-year-old to be third in the listed Ruthless Stakes in January. Recently, the filly won two straight allowance races, one at Monmouth and another at Saratoga, prior to stepping back into graded company.

Overall, Miss Marissa has four wins from 12 starts for earnings of over $320,000.

Winning Trainer James Ryerson (Miss Marissa) – “She’s fairly fast. The fractions are going to be fast with her up near the lead, so I wasn’t too concerned [with the early fractions]. She ran great.”

“Last year, I thought she wanted two turns and she made a liar out of me. It was ugly. But [this year] ever since we got a two-turn race at Monmouth she just moved forward in the race we got in at Saratoga. It was a small field but there were some nice horses in there. She ran fast, and then you look for a tougher spot. She answered today.”

Winning Owner Alfonso Cammarota (Miss Marissa): “This is my biggest win, but I have won other races with other horses.”

“I knew she was going to win. I do a lot of background on the horses when I buy them. I buy the horses personally. I do a lot of background on the siblings. Her mother won a race at a mile and a quarter and I knew she was going to be good. She proved it today. My research paid off.”

Winning Jockey Daniel Centeno (Miss Marissa): “The plan was to try to break sharp, get a good position and try to go easily from there. If someone tried to go to the lead we wanted to make sure that we were very close and make sure that she was really comfortable. She broke really sharp, I saw the inside horse go and I let her go. She sat off her practically all the way around. When I asked her she responded very well to the end.”

Jockey Florent Geroux (Bonny South, 2nd): “Horses that are deep closers sometimes you need some luck. She ran a great race. She finished the fastest. Today, we couldn’t catch the winner.”

The post Miss Marissa Upsets Favored Bonny South In Black-Eyed Susan appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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