Lucy N Ethel, making her first start since January, kept her unbeaten record intact Sept. 4 after leading at every point of call in the $300,000 Prioress Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old filly sprinters at Saratoga Race Course.
A homebred of J A G Racing and Jettany Thoroughbred Corp., Lucy N Ethel defeated Dearest, who chased her throughout and made a race of it in the stretch but finished second, three-quarters of a length back.
Lucy N Ethel, who has four wins from as many starts, finished six furlongs in 1:09.33 on a fast track while racing for the first time in more than eight months. Her record includes a last-out win in her stakes debut in the Old Hat Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 2 at Gulfstream Park, an allowance victory at Parx Racing in December, and a maiden score in her debut there in November for previous trainer Ramon Perciado.
Vying with Coniah at the start, Lucy N Ethel asserted herself for Jose Lezcano and set swift fractions of :22.05 for the opening quarter and :44.96 for the half, with Dearest in pursuit. Dearest looked to get a head in front heading into the stretch but Lucy N Ethel would not be denied and gamely fought back to get the victory.
"We won a grade III down in Gulfstream, and we tried to find a race for her but we really couldn't find a race for her," said Steve Perry of J A G Racing. "We knew she was training brilliantly against some very nice horses, so we really thought we had a shot at this. It's one of the last 3-year-old races that there are in the country for fillies, so it was our plan all along. We had just hoped we had a race to enter her in before this.
"She's good enough for this, obviously. We were hoping to run good, maybe hit the board or possibly do what we did. We were pretty confident but it's hard, this was a lovely group of horses. These are some of the best in the world as far as sprinters go."
Lezcano said Bradley told hime to take Lucy N Ethel away from the pony and warm her good, and then let her break and go to the lead.
"Everything went as planned," he said. "She broke well and I got a good position in front and she did it easy. I felt I had enough horse in the stretch. She came in prepared for this race today."
Pennsylvania-bred Lucy N Ethel, trained by Chloe Bradley, is a daughter of West Virginia-based sire During out of the winning Silver Ghost mare Kid Silver, who also produced a full brother in stakes winner Jake N Elwood and a half sister in Hey Kiddo.
Lucy N Ethel, off at 22-1 odds, paid $47.40, $18,60, and $8.70, Dearest returned $7 and $5.50, and Takrees paid $7.60 to show.