NY Sports Day

ELMONT, N.Y. – Lady Sheila Stable’s Holiday Disguise capitalized on class relief, tracking the early speed before a strong close to draw away to a 1 ½-length victory in the seventh running of the $100,000 Dancin Renee for New York-bred fillies 3-years-old and up on Saturday at Belmont Park.

Following back-to-back fifth-place finishes in the Grade 3 Distaff Handicap and the Grade 3 Vagrancy, the Linda Rice-trained Holiday Disguise was rated in third position, as pacesetter Leah’s Dream, with Pauseforthecause in pursuit, led the five-horse field through an opening quarter-mile in 22.93 seconds and the half in 46.29 on the fast main track.

Out of the turn, jockey Jose Lezcano urged 9-5 favorite Holiday Disguise, who responded by overtaking Pauseforthecause and Leah’s Dream from the outside and outkicked a charging Jc’s Shooting Star at the wire, completing six furlongs in 1:10.33.

“She was acting good in the paddock. Today, she did whatever I asked her to do,” said Lezcano, who won twice on Saturday to extend his meet-leading total to 36. “She broke good and settled well. When I asked her to go at the quarter pole, she put her head down and really took off to win the race. It was a very good performance.”

Rice saw Holiday Disguise post her first win since a 4 ¼-length score against state-breds in the Broadway in February at Aqueduct Racetrack, returning $5.60 on a $2 win wager. The 5-year-old Harlan’s Holiday mare improved her career record to 8-1-2 in 16 career starts and increased her total bankroll to $623,875.

“Getting away from graded stakes company and getting away from Come Dancing, who was running triple digit Beyer Speed Figures, was definitely a help. Jose rode her beautifully and that’s the way she wants to run,” Rice said. “She wants to sit behind the speed and close in the middle of the track.”

Rice said Holiday Disguise could next target the Grade 2, $200,000 Honorable Miss on July 24 at Saratoga Race Course or the $100,000 Union Avenue for New York-breds on August 15 at the Spa.

Jc’s Shooting Star, owned by Shooting Star Stable and trained by David Donk, finished in the money for the first time in six career stakes starts.

Holiday Disguise’s stablemate and half-sister Midnight Disguise, owned by William and Devin Wilmot and Joan Taylor, was a neck behind Jc’s Shooting Star, earning an on-the-board finish for a second consecutive start after a runner-up effort in the Critical Eye on May 27 at Belmont.

Pauseforthecuase and Leah’s Dream completed the order of finish. Out of Orbit was scratched.

Live racing resumes Sunday with a nine-race Father’s Day card with a first post time of 1:30 p.m. Eastern with doors opening at 10 a.m. The day’s feature – the Grade 3, $300,000 Poker for 4-year-olds and up going one mile on the Widener turf – is slated for Race 8 at 5:18 p.m.

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