J A G Racing and Jettany Thoroughbred Corp.’s homebred Lucy N Ethel, unraced since January of this year, was the frontrunning winner of Sunday’s Grade 2 Prioress Stakes at Saratoga. Defeating a field of nine other sophomore fillies, the daughter of During led from the start and refused to relinquish her advantage, crossing under the wire three-quarters of a length in front in a final time of 1:09.33. Ridden to the victory by Jose Lezcano at odds of 22-1, Lucy N Ethel gave trainer Chloe Bradley her first graded stakes victory.
“She’s a very nice filly,” Lezcano said. “The trainer told me to take her away from the pony and warm her up pretty good and let her break and go to the lead. Everything went as planned. 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.”
Lucy N Ethel was off very quickly under Lezcano, immediately striking out to the front by a neck over Coniah. She extended that lead to a full length through a first quarter mile in :22.05, then to nearly 1 1/2 lengths over Dearest to mark a half-mile in :44.96. Top betting favorites Kareena and Off the Tracks laid fourth and sixth respectively, with the latter with more than five lengths to make up at the top of the stretch.
Dearest was able to put her head in front at the head of the lane despite moving a bit wide, but Lucy N Ethel battled back fiercely down the stretch. Lucy N Ethel had regained a three-quarter length lead by the time she passed under the wire, holding Dearest at bay. Takrees was the only filly making up any ground late, but was relegated to third.
“She’s good enough for this, obviously,” said J A G’s Steve Perry. “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.”
Bred in Pennsylvania by her owners, Lucy N Ethel broke her maiden on debut at Parx, then captured a first level allowance race by 13 1/4 lengths. Shipped to Gulfstream Park in early January this year, the filly set a pressured pace but was successful in the G3 Old Hat Stakes, drawing away down the lane to win by 3 3/4 lengths for trainer Ramon Preciado. Overall, Lucy N Ethel boasts a perfect four-win record, with earnings of $ 300,000.
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