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Joyful victory sets track record in $400K Houston Ladies Classic

Sunday, January 27, 2013 |
Joyful Victory turned in a track record performance to win the inaugural $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic Saturday night at Sam Houston Race Park, the fourth career stakes win for the 5-year-old daughter of Tapit.

With $9.3 million in progeny earnings last year, Tapit ranked fourth on the North American General Sire List. His total of four Grade 1 winners topped the list.

Joyful Victory moved to the lead soon after the start of the 1 1/16-mile Houston Ladies Classic, and was up by a length after an opening quarter in 24.04 seconds. She maintained that advantage through a  half-mile in 47.92 and 1:12.07 for six furlongs. The almost white mare spurted clear in the stretch to cover the distance in 1:42.30, lowering the previous mark of 1:42.74.

“This filly likes to run on the lead,” said winning rider Rosie Napravnik. “It wasn’t necessarily what we wanted to do, but when no one else came after it, we said, ‘Sure, we’ll take it.’ ”

Winning trainer Larry Jones was well-pleased with the effort of the Fox Hill Farm colorbearer as well.

“The intent was to get her to relax, and since no one went, she was very relaxed and comfortable on the front end,” he said.

Joyful Victory is now 5-5-3 in 16 starts, earning $910,679. At three, she won the Honeybee S. (G3) and Fantasy S. (G2) at Oaklawn Park and the Tiffany Lass S. at Fair Grounds.

Jones added Joyful Victory would be pointed for the Grade 1, $300,000 Santa Margarita at Santa Anita on March 16. Last year, she shipped to Santa Anita and was second in the Grade 1 Zenyatta.