Sanford R. Robertson’s Auntie Joy was the 1 1/4-length winner of Saturday night’s Grade 3 Regret Stakes at Churchill Downs. A sophomore daughter of Uncle Mo, the Brendan Walsh trainee covered nine furlongs over the firm turf course in 1:49.24 under jockey Brian Hernandez.
Auntie Joy broke sharply for Hernandez from the outer-most post in the 11-horse field, jumping out to a one-length lead over Wessex. She led through a first quarter in :24.02, stretching her lead to 1 1/2 lengths near the half-mile mark in :49.48. Rounding the turn for home, Wessex came within a half-length of the lead, but Auntie Joy bounded away willingly, extending her lead to nearly three lengths at the top of the lane. She grew leg-weary in the final strides, but had enough left in the tank to hold off Noble Beauty by 1 1/4 lengths. Try Your Luck finished third, and Wessex held on to be fourth.
Bred in Kentucky by her owner, Auntie Joy is out of a winning daughter of Forestry. The Regret is her first career graded stakes victory, and boosts her overall record to three wins from six starts, with earnings of just under $ 150,000.
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