Valedictorian, a 4-year-old Temple City filly, defeated Heading Home by a head in a thrilling rendition of the Jersey Girl H. on Independence Day at Monmouth Park.
The dark bay filly is Temple City's eighth stakes horse of the year. Temple City has been one of the most popular stallions of the past three breeding seasons, averaging 185 mares bred per year. His largest crop to date are 2-year-olds of 2018.
Valedictorian had been away from the races since late March, but came into the Jersey Girl with a series of very sharp works for trainer Kelly Breen. She broke alertly and raced just outside of pacesetter Heading Home through the first six furlongs. Engaging the leader at the top of the stretch, she wore down her foe to stop the timer in 1:36.20 on the firm turf.
“I wasn’t concerned at all about the three-month layoff because the reason for it was to give her time planning for Monmouth Park,” said Breen. “There was nothing wrong with her. It was by design. We just wanted to have all of our ducks in a row for her for this race.”
Owned by Epic Racing, Valedictorian upped her record to 7-4-2 in 18 outings and has now earned $227,835. She was bred in New Jersey by John Bowers, Jr. and is out of the graded stakes-winning mare Smart N Classy.