Thoroughbred Legends Racing Stable’s Rapport set blazing factions and still had something left in the tank for the stretch drive, as she rolled to a dominating 3 1/2-length victory in the $100,000 Victory Ride Stakes (gr. III) (VIDEO) Aug. 28 at Saratoga for her first stakes win.
In her stakes debut last out in the July 10 Azalea (gr. III) at Calder, Rapport also set a fast early pace but tired badly to finish fourth. The 3-year-old filly was much sharper in her second try, leaving her seven rivals in the dust as the 2-1 second choice. Martin Garcia rode the daughter of Songandaprayer to victory for trainer Bob Baffert, stopping the clock in 1:09.66 for six furlongs on the fast dirt.
Breaking from post 3, Rapport shot to the lead while outhustling Beyondallboundarys into the turn. She coasted through lighting splits of :22.05 for a quarter-mile and :44.54 for the half, and took a 2 1/2-length lead into the stretch after running five furlongs in :56.55. Beyondallboundarys and My Jen chased the leader in upper stretch but by the sixteenth pole it was clear that they were not going to catch her.
My Jen got up by 1 3/4 lengths for second under Julien Leparoux, with Beyondallboundarys settling for third with Calvin Borel in the irons. Katy Now, the 2-1 favorite, was fourth.
Rapport, who shipped into Saratoga last week from California, won both of her starts on the Hollywood Park Cushion Track for Baffert prior to the Azalea, breaking her maiden in May and taking an allowance contest in June—both of them in romps. She was 0-for-3 as a juvenile.
"The point was to make her relax because she has a lot of speed," Garcia said. "She looked like the only speed in the race. She just kept going. With a good horse it doesn’t matter where they run and she just showed it. She won two times over the poly in California, and then, now, that’s the second time that she ran on the dirt and she won. If she can get over the track she can win because she is a really good filly.”
The dark bay/brown filly, who upped her earnings to $118,644, was bred in Kentucky by Glencrest Farm and is out of the At the Threshold mare Irene’s Talkin. She was a $475,000 purchase at the 2008 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale.
"When I saw the :22 first quarter I knew that was easy for her because she is just really fast," Baffert said. "She ran so well at Hollywood Park, which is probably the closest synthetic to dirt that we have, that I wasn’t worried about the conventional dirt today.
"In her previous race (Azalea), she just went way too fast on a heavy track. But she was training well here and worked very nicely in the mud actually. It was really nice to get a graded stakes win on Travers Day. Just winning on a big day like this you feel like you won a grade I. And I gave her out to a lot of the fans earlier, so that was good.”
The winner paid $6.90, $3.90, and $3.40. The exacta (3-2) returned $118 and the trifecta (3-2-7) was $349.50.