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Vacation Over, Mom's On Strike Wins Gr. III at Churchill Downs
Published: Sunday, June 9, 2019

The breeders of First Dude's first graded stakes-winner of 2019 are Courtney and Chad Meagher, who's Mom's On Strike returned from a seven-month vacation to capture the $125,000 Old Forester Mint Julep Stakes at Churchill Downs on Belmont day. The 6-year-old mare hadn't started since the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf on Nov. 3, and she was the star on another strong day for First Dude. 

With Adam Beschizza riding, Mom's On Strike sat fourth on the rail down the backstretch in the 1 1/6-mile turf race, then angled out on the turn heading into the stretch and put it in overdrive late to get up by a neck. It marked her fourth stakes victory, second in a Gr. III, and raised her career record to 7-6-1 in 20 starts. The winner's check of $75,175 boosted her earnings to $594,550, third best among First Dude's runners. 

At Gulfstream Park, Durven became First Dude's 46th winner this year, the 5-year-old mare winning a one-mile turf race by a nose over 7/5 favorite Cocktail Skirt after a stirring stretch battle. It was her third career victory, and first in three starts after returning from a layoff of 8 1/2 months. She negotiated the mile in a solid 1:37.99 and earned a check for $11,400 and a breeder's award for Big Lick Farm, her owners and breeders. 

El Potro has won three of his last four starts after a wire-to-wire victory in a starter optional claimer at Suffolk Downs. Ruben Silvera was aboard the 5-year-old gelding, who raced six furlongs in 1:11.56 and collected a check for $20,000. Aside from Suffolk, El Potro has won recently at Parx Racing and Penn National, giving him eight career victories, while raising his earnings to $127,202.  

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