Joyful Victory will face five other older fillies and mares in the Molly Pitcher.

Joyful Victory will face five other older fillies and mares in the Molly Pitcher.

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Joyful Victory Back to Two Turns in 'Pitcher

Trainer Larry Jones has his grade I winner set against five rivals at Monmouth Park.

After Joyful Victory threw in a clunker in the Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I) in her most recent start, trainer Larry Jones says he's learned his lesson as he brings her to Monmouth Park for the $200,000 Molly Pitcher Stakes (gr. II) July 28.

Coming off front-running romps in the Houston Ladies' Classic and Santa Margarita Stakes (gr. I) to begin the year, Joyful Victory ran out of steam in the 1 1/16-mile Ogden Phipps May 27 after carving a swift half mile in :45.41. She faded to fifth as the even-money choice, 11 1/2 lengths behind the victorious Tiz Miz Sue.

"She’s never done well on the one-turn mile, we tried her at Churchill Downs and at Belmont; she’s done that before and has not been successful in any of the attempts," Jones said. "She’s 5 years old and we’ve finally learned not to attempt that with her. We’re going to keep her on the two turns."

Racing in the colors of Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farms, Joyful Victory will face five other older fillies and mares in the 1 1/16-mile Molly Pitcher, race 6 on the Haskell Invitational (gr. I) undercard with a 2:22 p.m. EDT scheduled post time. It will be the striking gray Tapit  filly's first visit to the New Jersey shore oval.

"We have so many good memories at Monmouth Park, been so successful (there)," Jones said. "Just Jenda won the (2010) Molly Pitcher and won Monmouth Oaks (gr. III) and a couple of other stakes; I look forward to bringing her in here. It looked like the place for her to be."

Joyful Victory comes into the Molly Pitcher with a pair of bullet five-furlong works at Churchill Downs, most recently breezing in :59 3/5 July 23.

"She’s really done well training at Churchill Downs," Jones said. "She really just kind of lit the track up two works ago (:58 4/5 July 16), so we were not having to do much with her this past work but she’s training well, doing well."

Joyful Victory, to be ridden once again by Rosie Napravnik, brings a lifetime mark of 6-5-3 in 18 starts into the race with earnings of $1,102,679. She will break from the far outside post with co-top weight of 123 pounds.

Also weighted at 123 is John Oxley's Funny Proposition, a five-length upset winner over Royal Delta in the Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) in front-running style June 15 at Churchill. The Mark Casse-trained 4-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro  won the five-horse Fleur de Lis in front-running fashion from her rail post position, though her usual style is to race just off the lead.

It was the second win in a row for Funny Proposition, who dominated an allowance/optional claiming field at Churchill a month earlier. She has continued to train at Churchill, where she turned in a bullet five-furlong breeze in :59 1/5 July 19. Miguel Mena takes the call from post 4.

Claimed for $10,000 out of a victory at Tampa Bay Downs on the turf in April, Bruno Schickedanz's 4-year-old Lady Samuri has reeled off three straight wins at Monmouth for new trainer Yvon Belsoeur. The speedy First Samurai  filly is coming off an 8 1/4-length romp in her stakes debut in the listed Lighthouse June 30 at the Molly Pitcher distance.

Others in the field are Live Oak Plantation's Successful Song, second in the Lighthouse for trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. after capturing the Sunshine Millions Distaff to begin the year; Becky Winemiller's Wine Princess, last in the Fleur de Lis after pressing Funny Proposition and tiring; and Top Shelf Stable's Winiliscious, looking to bounce back from a last-place finish in the Lighthouse over a track where she has won five of eight starts.

$200,000 Molly Pitcher Stakes (gr. II, Race 6, 2:22 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Wine Princess (KY), S Bridgmohan, 116, S Margolis
2. Successful Song (FL), P Lopez, 120, E Plesa Jr.
3. Lady Samuri (NY), A Mariano, 118, Y Belsoeur
4. Funny Proposition (KY), M Mena, 123, M E Casse
5. Winiliscious (KY), K Carmouche, 116, C Spina
6. Joyful Victory (ON), R Napravnik, 123, J L Jones