Volcat found the deep going at Colonial Downs to her liking when she opened up a commanding lead in the stretch and held on for a half-length victory in the $150,000 Virginia Oaks (gr. IIIT) in New Kent July 21 (VIDEO).
Robby Albarado rode 9-5 second choice Volcat to her first stakes victory over a field of seven 3-year-old fillies for trainer Ken McPeek. Landaluce Educe Stables owns the dark bay or brown daughter of After Market out of the Southern Halo mare Kentucky Whisper. Edmond and Sharon Hudon bred the winner in the Kentucky.
Volcat, taking the lead from Boastful Dancer on the turn for home, finished a neck ahead of Filare l'Oro while completing the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:52.18 on a yielding course. It was far 5 1/4 lengths farther back to third-place finisher Ski Holiday.
Zultanite, the even-money pick, was never comfortable with the soft ground and checked in fifth while never a factor.
Boastful Dancer set the pace with Volcat in close attendance and Ski Holiday and Filare l'Oro stalking in third and fourth, respectively. Fractions were :24.40 and :49.25 before Volcat edged up on the outside of Boastful Dancer and swept past to get the lead after completing six furlongs in 1:14.23.
Volcat had control in the lane as she and Filare l'Oro drew away from the rest of the field. Volcat held a three-length lead at the furlong pole and reached the wire under right-handed urging from Albarado.
Since moving to the turf in June at Churchill Downs, Volcat has two wins and a third in three starts. She was coming off a front-running 1 3/4-length tally in a first-level allowance race at nine furlongs on from Churchill turf June 22. Overall, Volcat improved to 3-2-2 in nine races with earnings of $183,470.
Under equal weights of 116 pounds, Volcat paid $5.80, $4, $3.20. Filare l'Oro returned $7.60 and $5, and completed a $2 exacta. Ski Holiday paid $4.20.
Julia's Star was fourth, followed by Zultanite, My Precious Secret, and Boastful Dancer.