Vestrey Lady Rides Again in La Lorgnette

(from Woodbine report)
Harlequin Ranches' Vestrey Lady, ridden by Jim McAleney, made every pole a winning one in Saturday's featured $134,400 La Lorgnette Stakes at Woodbine.

Breaking from the eight-hole in the field of 11 3-year-old fillies, Vestrey Lady held off a surging Gold Fish near the wire of the 1 1/16-mile test to win by a half-length in 1:44.91. Hard-knocking Sweet Breanna, runner-up in both the Labatt Woodbine Oaks and Bison City Stakes earlier this year, faded late in the stretch to finish third as the lukewarm race favorite.

It was the third win, along with four seconds, in eight starts this year for the remarkably consistent Kentucky-bred daughter of Vicar, a $6,000 Keeneland yearling purchase in 2004.

Reade Baker, Woodbine's leading trainer in wins and purse money, celebrated his ninth stakes win of the season. "She did it well. I was just worried about somebody chasing her early. I thought, if nobody chased her, she could win it. Maybe now we'll take her out of town and make the Sovereign Award voters think about Kimchi, who I wish was here today."

The morning line favorite, Kimchi, currently the top 3-year-old filly in the country after winning the first two gems of the Triple Tiara - the Labatt Woodbine Oaks and Bison City Stakes - was a morning scratch.

Vestrey Lady, the 7-2 second choice, opened 1 1/2 lengths after a quarter and essentially maintained that margin throughout. Sweet Breanna took a shot at the leader coming into the stretch, but couldn't get any closer. Then, 23-1 longshot Gold Fish made a belated attempt to reel in the pacesetter deep in the lane but came up short.

The win was worth $75,000, as Vestrey Lady pushed her career bankroll to $286,300. She paid $9.50, $6.50, and $5.10, combining with Gold Fish ($15.70, $8.50) for a $285.00 exacta. With Sweet Breanna ($4), the trifecta was worth $1,395.90. Rolling Seam was fourth, rounding out a healthy $4,038.45 superfecta.

(Chart, Equibase)