On Leave refused to be left behind in the My Charmer Stakes (G3), as she came with a late run and wore down Gianna’s Dream to win by a neck at Gulfstream Park. Sent off as the race favorite, the 4-year-old War Front filly completed the one mile contest in 1:35.35 over a firm turf course with jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard.
“I thought Irad rode a really good race,” said winning trainer Shug McGaughey. “I told him to be a little more aggressive leaving the gate than she was in California. I thought he had really good position. He knew the filly on the lead was backing it up a little bit, so he went on after her earlier. He hand rode her at the end. He rode her well, and I thought she did it well.”
A homebred for Stuart S. Janney, III, On Leave has proven game throughout her entire career. She has won seven of 14 lifetime starts, and she was second or third in five others. She came into the My Charmer having finished third in the Goldikova Stakes (G2) at Del Mar.
“I rode her last time and she got in a lot of trouble,” said Ortiz. “That’s why she didn’t win that day, and she got beat by a nice filly. I didn’t want to make the same mistake again. I warmed her up good and I put her right there. We were a little closer and I wanted to be in the clear. She kept giving it to me and she’s the kind of filly that can go a little farther, too, so I knew she’d be all right at the end.”
Last year, On Leave notched her first graded stakes score in the Sands Point Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park. The gray/roan filly is out of the winning A.P. Indy mare Meghan’s Joy.
War Front has 34 stakes horses to his credit this year, including G1 winners American Patriot, Avenge, Roly Poly, U S Navy Flag and War Flag. Currently the #1 sire in the United States by percentage of stakes winners, graded stakes winners, grade 1 stakes horses, graded stakes horses, and stakes horses, War Front stands for $250,000 at Claiborne.