Welcome Home [$32.40, $9.80, $4.20] gained the lead past the opening quarter and drew off to a two and a quarter-length victory in the $60,000 Montclair University Stakes, the eighth race feature for fillies and mares, on Friday night at the Meadowlands.
Ridden by Julian Pimentel, the 15-1 shot covered the six-furlong distance in 1:09.1 over a fast main track. Fortress Hill [$3.00, $2.60], sent off as the 6-5 favorite, was second best, while it was another two and half lengths back to Smartlee Away [$6.60] who held on for third.
“She felt very good,” Pimentel said. “She broke on top and got away good. She did everything right. The one horse [High Peaks] was the other speed in the race and she had trouble. They were fast fractions but she was doing it easy.”
Welcome Home, a four-year-old daughter of Dixieland Band, improved her lifetime record to four wins in 13 starts for trainer Alan Goldberg and owner Jayeff B Stables.
“This was her first stakes win,” said Jim Malonety, assistant trainer for Alan Goldberg. “We’ve been a little high on her. Her granddam is Safely Kept so she came by her speed naturally. We thought we’d give her a shot in this race; she’s been doing well. We got a little break when the one horse [High Peaks] didn’t get away well. I’m not sure what Alan is going to do with her next. She’s sharp now. We’ll pick our spots.”