Led by 3-1 morning-line favorite Jealous Girl, a field of 10 3-year-old filly sprinters was drawn for the $100,000 Victory Ride (gr. III) Aug. 27 at Saratoga.
Jealous Girl has won her last four starts—all at six furlongs by open lengths—and now tries graded stakes action for the first time. With Jeremy Rose aboard for Tony Dutrow, the daughter of Petionville will break from post 2 in the Victory Ride, which is one of five graded stakes on the Travers Day card. Post time is set for 4:03 p.m. EDT.
Jealous Girl has gone wire-to-wire in her last four tries, beginning with a maiden claiming victory in February at Parx Racing in her second lifetime start. She followed with an easy win in a starter handicap the following month at Parx, then rolled by nine lengths in an optional claimer at Delaware Park. On July 29 at Penn National, the dark bay/brown filly stepped up to stakes company and buried the field in the $100,000 Femme Fatale Stakes at Penn National by five lengths under Rose.
“We were planning to make the Prioress and Test with her but after her May victory (at Delaware) she had a tender left shin and that ruined our plans,” Dutrow said. “We were hoping for bigger and better by now. This will be her biggest test.”
Jealous Girl is owned by the partnership of Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables, and The Elkstone Group. Dubb is the leading owner at the Saratoga meet. The filly was bred in Kentucky by Everest Stables and is out of the Cozzene mare Isla Cozzene.
The second choice on the morning line at 7-2 is Valiant Passion, a Lion Heart filly who romped by 6 3/4 lengths July 22 at Saratoga in a six-furlong allowance contest. Owned by Team Valor International and trained by Graham Motion, Valiant Passion is 2-for-3 at Saratoga, as she broke her maiden there last summer by more than nine lengths and was third in the Spinaway (gr. I).
The bay filly, who will be ridden by Julien Leparoux from post 8, is 2-0-2 from five lifetime starts. She will carry 116 pounds, getting a four to seven pound break from five others.
The third choice (5-1) is Black Swan Stable’s Roman Treasure from the barn of Mike Hushion. The Roman Ruler filly opened up by two lengths heading into the turn in the Test (gr. I) before being overtaken by eventual winner Turbulent Descent, one of the premier 3-year-old fillies in the country. She eventually finished third in that race.
Roman Treasure won the Miss Royal Stakes going six furlongs at Belmont in June and was fifth in the Prioress (gr. I). She has won three of seven overall. Dominguez will ride again.
“I don’t know how good a spot it is, but we’ll try her,” said Hushion. “It’s pretty straightforward from here.”
Maple Forest (8-1), trained by Todd Pletcher, registered a 1 1/4-length victory in the $75,000 Dearly Precious on July 10 at Monmouth Park. The race was her first stakes victory in four tries.
“She’s coming off a stakes win at Monmouth and broke her maiden here at Saratoga, so we know she likes the racetrack,” Pletcher said.
Harold Queen's Hot Summer (8-1), the 123-pound high weight, won the Comely (gr. III) at Aqueduct in April and was third to Royal Delta in the Black-Eyed Susan (gr. II) in her last start for David Fawkes.
$100,000 Victory Ride (gr. III, Race 9, 4:03 p.m.), 3YO Fillies, 6 Furlongs (Dirt) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer 1. Maple Forest (KY), J R Velazquez, 120, T A Pletcher
2. Jealous Girl (KY), J Rose, 120, A W Dutrow
3. A Z Warrior (KY), M Garcia, 120, B Baffert
4. Oflee Wicked (KY), J Valdivia Jr., 118, K P McLaughlin
5. Funny Sunny (KY), K J Desormeaux, 116, R B Hess Jr.
6. Hot Summer (VA), C H Velasquez, 123, D Fawkes
7. Precious Soul (KY), E S Prado, 116, H A Jerkens
8. Valiant Passion (KY), J R Leparoux, 116, H G Motion
9. Roman Treasure (KY), R A Dominguez, 120, M E Hushion
10. Moon Buzz (KY), S Bridgmohan ,116, S Margolis