Trained by Hall of Famer Claude “Shug” McGaughey, the 5-year-old light gray daughter of Smart Strike had been out of action since finishing a close-up third in the Grade 2 New York on June 30 at Belmont Park.
Runner-up Bizzy Caroline stayed affixed to the right flank of Hit It Rich until the winner shook clear at the top of the lane. Kissable finished a neck back in third, followed by Bubbly Jane, Imperial Pippin and Thislilsoulofmine.
As the 4-5 favorite, Hit It Rich paid $3.70 for a $2 win bet. It was her second graded stakes win of the year following a victory in the Grade 3 Orchid in March at Gulfstream Park.
“The game plan was if she could have the lead, it’s perfect; if we have a target, that’s fine too,” McGaughey said. “[Castellano] said she broke good, was relaxed, and they kind of gave him the lead even though that filly [Bizzy Caroline] was sitting on her. He said going into the first turn, she short of just pricked her ears, and when she came by me the first time she was just galloping along, and that was fine with me.”
McGaughey said he didn’t want to run Hit It Rich in the ungraded Waya at 1 ½ miles on August 6 and didn’t like how the mare would be weighted in the Grade 1 Beverly D. at Arlington Park, so he waited for the Glen Falls.
“I think the freshness really did her good, too,” he added.
Hit It Rich has now won seven of 16 lifetime starts; the $90,000 winner’s purse increased her lifetime earnings to $513,310.
McGaughey now will point her to a run in the Grade 1, $600,000 Flower Bowl Invitational on September 29 at Belmont Park, or the Grade 1, $500,000 Spinster Stakes contested over Keeneland’s Polytrack on October 7.