St Elias Stable’s Teresa Z rallied to record her first stakes victory when taking the $107,000 Monmouth Oaks (G3) by 1 1/2 lengths on Saturday at Monmouth Park.
Sent off the 5-1 co-fourth choice in the nine-filly field, Teresa Z and jockey Nik Juarez settled near the rear of the group as Overture set the pace through splits of :23.25, :47.48, 1:11.67 and 1:36.97. Frank’s Folly pressed the leader early before fading. That left the way clear for the stalking Sine Wave to rally up the rail turning for home and move up to challenge Overture.
Meanwhile, Teresa Z was come fast on the outside, reeling in her rivals and going on to finish 1 1/16 miles over the fast main track in 1:43.43.
Teresa Z paid $13.20 for the win while making just her second stakes try in this spot. Sine Wave followed in second, three parts of a length up on Overture, while Babybluesbdancing filled the fourth spot another length behind. My Miss Tapit, the 5-2 favorite was one-paced throughout and came in fifth. Completing the order of finish were Proud and Fearless, You Know Too, Frank’s Folly and Who’s the Lady.
Teresa Z improved her scorecard to read 10-3-2-2 and has now banked $124,120 lifetime. The Smart Strike filly began her career for trainer Todd Pletcher, but was no factor in three maiden special weights at Belmont Park and Saratoga last year.
Subsequently switched to trainer Anthony Margotta Jr., she immediately broke her maiden by a half-length at Tampa Bay Downs on December 30 and proceeded to place in her next four starts, including a third in the Light Hearted Stakes at Monmouth on May 20. She entered this spot off a four-length score at Penn National against allowance rivals on July 8.
Bred in Kentucky by Besilu Stables, Teresa Z is out of the stakes-winning A.P. Indy mare With Flying Colors, who is herself a daughter of multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire My Flag and a half-sister to champion Storm Flag Flying.
Teresa Z’s third dam is undefeated champion, Broodmare of the Year and Hall of Famer Personal Ensign.
MONMOUTH OAKS QUOTES
Anthony Margotta Jr., trainer Teresa Z, winner
“That worked out perfectly. She showed speed early on in her career and we’ve been teaching to wait and come with a big run. (Jockey) Nik (Juarez) couldn’t have rode a better race.
“I’m very blessed to have St. Elias Stable in my life and this wonderful horse.”
Nik Juarez, jockey Teresa Z, winner
“We knew there would be a lot of pace in the race and the key with this filly is to get her covered up and relaxed to let her make her one run. Everything set up beautifully today and the plan worked out perfectly.”