Bronx Beauty Prevails In Dramatic Flores Memorial

Stake Named for Parx Fallen Hall of Fame Jockey

2 W’s Stables’ Bronx Beauty rallied to the lead with just over a furlong to go and then held off the furious late charge of Dixie Serenade to win the first running of the $100,000 Jose Flores Memorial Stakes by a head.  The stake for three year-old fillies at six and a half furlongs was named in honor of jockey Jose Flores, a Parx Hall of Famer, who tragically passed away this March from injuries sustained in a racing accident at Parx.

Breaking from post seven in the field of ten, it was expected that Bronx Beauty, a gray daughter of Liaison, would be forwardly placed, and with some speed on her inside, winning jockey Frankie Pennington opted to sit just off the pace.  With Bootsy’s Hadenough getting to the front followed closely by Smokinpaddylassie, Bronx Beauty sat third, about a length and a half off the lead as they ran past the half mile pole.  After an opening quarter in 22.24, Bootsy’s Hadenough took the field to the far turn, with Smokinpaddylassie the first to give way and Bronx Beauty now beginning to gain, moving herself into contention on the outside flank of the leader.  In the meantime, Grade 3 winner and stretch running Dixie Serenade was making a bold four wide bid past the quarter pole and looked to have good momentum as the field turned for home.

After turning a half in 45.63, Bootsy’s Hadenough held tough to the eighth pole at which point Bronx Beauty finally got her head in front, but her work was far from done.  Dixie Serenade was bearing down on her and in mid-stretch looked every bit a winner. Bronx Beauty, however, was as game as they come.  She dug in with everything she had and simply refused to let Dixie Serenade get past.  As the two came to the wire together, it was Bronx Beauty who had her head in front, prevailing in a thrilling stretch battle between two quality young fillies.

For Bronx Beauty, who is trained by Tony Margotta, it was the fifth win in her six race career.  She has already won four stakes and now bankrolled over $240,000. Sent off as a slight betting favorite at 9-5, she paid $5.80, 3.40, and 2.80.  Dixie Serenade (2-1) ran terrific in defeat, falling just a head shy, and returned 3.20 and 2.80.  Sweet Candy Dance (7-1) out finished the others for third and paid 4.00 to show.  The final time over a track labeled fast was 1:17.43.

Led by wife Joanne, Jose’s family came out to make the trophy presentation. All of the members of the Parx jockey colony joined as well, making for an emotional moment in the winner’s circle that will be remembered here for a long time to come.