Jockey Feargal Lynch rode his third winner on Saturday’s card when guiding Sheep Pond Partners, Alain Jathiere, Tom Coleman and Norton Herrick’s Rymska to victory in the Grade 3 Commonwealth Oaks. The sophomore daughter of Le Havre settled well off the early pace as the 2-1 favorite, then came flying down the center of the stretch to score by three-quarters of a length over the 4-1 Taperge. Trained by Chad Brown, Rymska covered nine furlongs over Laurel Park’s firm turf course in 1:46.94.
“I watched the replay of her race down in Florida when she won the stake last time at Gulfstream, and Joel did the same thing and sort of dropped her in,” said Lynch. “She was going nicely down the back but as soon as I got her to the outside, she had such acceleration. You don’t want to get stopped in her run. My only instructions were she’s got a huge acceleration so when she kicks, don’t get in her way. She just picked it up from there. Chad Brown’s horses know where the winning post is. They’ve come and beat me and I’ve won on them. It’s a pleasure to ride them. He brings them here andyou’re just passengers on them. They make us look good.”
I’m Betty G and Chubby Star were both out of the gate quickly, rushing out to wrestle for the lead heading into the first turn, while Rymska settled easily for Lynch at the rear of field along the rail. I’m Betty G got a half-length advantage to mark the first quarter-mile in :23.45, leading a slightly rank Chubby Star. Those two were followed by Fly By and In The Lee moving together, with Taperge, Flower Fashion and Proud Reunion tracking the pace.
After a half-mile in :47.38, I’m Betty G had a full length’s lead over Chubby Star. Nearing the half-mile pole, Rymska and Charged both began to make their moves from the rear of the field. Through the turn, Taperge moved into contention but was behind a wall of leaders I’m Betty G, Chubby Star and In The Lee. Rymska was another two lengths behind Taperge, about two paths off the rail through the rest of the turn.
At the head of the lane In The Lee drew even with I’m Betty G just as Chubby Star lugged out a bit. That left a lane for Taperge to come charging between horses to take the lead in early stretch, but Lynch had angled Rymska to the clear outside at the three-sixteenths pole. Under a firm ride, Rymska came flying down the center of the course to cross the wire three-quarters of a length in front of Taperge. I’m Betty G was just able to hold third in a photo over In The Lee.
Bred in France by Eric Feurtet, Rymska began her career with a listed stakes win overseas. She captured the G3 Sweetest Chant in February at Gulfstream Park, but had been off since that effort. Overall, the Commonwealth Oaks improves Rymska’s record to four wins from seven starts with earnings of over $270,000.