Zagora, who ran third in the 2011 Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland, is back for this year's running, but this time she’s coming off two straight graded stakes wins.
This year’s race, a grade I for the first time and worth $300,000, has attracted five others including three additional 2012 stakes winners.
The Jenny Wiley, a 1 1/16-mile turf event for fillies and mares 4 and up, is race 8 on the Toyota Blue Grass program and is scheduled for 4:42 p.m. (EDT).
Zagora, by Green Tune, is the only grade I turf winner in the field. She captured last year’s Diana Stakes (gr. IT) at Saratoga Race Course. Zagora began this year with a score in the Endeavour Stakes (gr. IIIT) and then won the Hillsborough Stakes (gr. IIIT), both at Tampa Bay Downs. Trained by Chad Brown, the French-bred mare will be ridden by Javier Castellano.
Tapitsfly, who will carry top weight of 120 pounds, two more than the rest of the field, won the Honey Fox Stakes (gr. IIT) at Gulfstream Park March 18 after finishing a close third in the Marsha’s River Stakes (gr. IIIT) over the same course in her season opener. By Tapit , Tapitsfly has raced once at Keeneland, but not over the turf, and was soundly beaten. Julien Leparoux rides for trainer Dale Romans.
Heavenly Landing, who eked out a nose triumph in the Marshua’s Dancer in her 2012 debut, was winning her third straight race when capturing the 1 1/16-mile Marshua’s Dancer. The daughter of Pulpit had begun the streak with an allowance win on turf at Keeneland in October and followed up with a score over the grass at Churchill Downs the following month. In her most recent race, she ran eighth in the Suwannee River Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream. Eddie Kenneally trains, and Corey Lanerie will ride.
The other 2012 stakes winner in the field, Daisy Devine, has won three straight turf stakes going back to the Pin Oak Valley View (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland in the fall. This year at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the daughter of Kafwain won the Pago Hop Stakes and the Mardi Gras Handicap. Trained by Andrew McKeever, she will be ridden by James Graham.
Aruna, conditioned by Graham Motion, has a big win at Keeneland but that score came in the Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (gr. I) over the synthetic main track in October. By Mr. Greeley, Aruna was a graded stakes winner in 2010 and in 2011, and finished second in last year’s Diana. She will be making her first start since beaten a length while fifth in the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) in November. Graham Motion trains, and Ramon Dominguez will ride.
Bay to Bay, who will break from the outside, ran a close second in the Honey Fox. The daughter of Sligo Bay has raced twice at Keeneland, finishing second in the 2010 Appalachian Stakes (gr. IIIT) and unplaced in last fall’s First Lady (gr. IT). Garrett Gomez will ride for trainer B.A. Lynch.
$300,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IT, Race 8, 4:42 p.m.) Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Heavenly Landing, C J Lanerie, 118, E Kenneally
2. Zagora, J Castellano, 118, C C Brown
3. Tapitsfly, J R Leparoux, 120, D L Romans
4. Aruna, R A Dominguez, 118, H G Motion
5. Daisy Devine, J Graham, 118, A McKeever
6. Bay to Bay, G K Gomez, 118, B A Lynch