Summer Soiree had no trouble in her synthetic surface debut, dismantling the field in the $100,000 Bourbonette Oaks (gr. III) (VIDEO) March 26 at Turfway Park and stamping herself a serious threat for the May 6 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
With Gabriel Saez aboard for Larry Jones, Summer Soiree jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, cruising to a 10 3/4–length victory in the one-mile Bourbonette for her second straight dominating performance. The daughter of War Front was coming off of a 9 3/4-length score in an allowance race Jan. 30 at Oaklawn Park in her 3-year-old debut.
The bay filly is owned by Wahoo Partners, and Brereton and Bret Jones. Brereton and Bret Jones also bred Summer Soiree, who is out of the Mazel Trick mare Mazel Tov.
Breaking from post 5 in a field of 10, Summer Soiree grabbed the early lead and coasted through splits of :24.84, :48.42, and 1:12.66 on the Polytrack. Longshot Proud House tracked her in second, followed by Readybdancing, Lilacs and Lace, and Harlan's Ruby.
By the time Summer Soiree came off the turn she had a commanding advantage. Saez took a peak over his right shouldler after reacing the eighth pole with a five-length lead, and kept Summer Soiree to task until the late stages when he geared her down. The final time was 1:38.75.
Harlan’s Ruby was 1 1/4 lengths clear of Suave Voir Faire, who closed late to get third by a head over Lilacs and Lace.
“I can’t tell you that much," Saez said. "She did everything on her own. She broke sharp. I took a little bit of a hold and tried to get her to relax. She was doing everything on her own. I just asked her the last 250 yards. I’m very proud of her. I think she’ll go along nicely."
Summer Soiree was an inconsistent juvenile while racing at Delaware Park for Cindy Jones, winning once in six starts with three third-place efforts. But she has been a different horse as a 3-year-old and is now clearly one of the top contenders for the Kentucky Oaks, along with her stablemate Joyful Victory.
Summer Soiree improved to 3-0-3 from eight starts and upped her earnings to $121,680.
“This filly has a nice turn of foot," Larry Jones said. "These War Fronts are running really well. Once I brought her up here and let her get over the track, I knew it was the right decision to come. I’ll check with Brereton and Bret, but we may go straight to the Kentucky Oaks off of this. She runs very well with time between starts and 41 days should be a good time.”
The winner paid $5, $3.80, and $3. The exacta (5-10) returned $21 and the trifecta (10-5-2) was worth $140.20.