Congratulations to Sweet Victory and Middleburg, a pair of Virginia-bred horses who earned big stakes triumphs over the recent weekend!
Sweet Victory (shown here courtesy of The Racing Biz) won the $200,000 Penn Oaks for 3 year old fillies Saturday at Penn National while Middleburg was victorious in the Grade 3, $100,000 Red Bank Stakes Sunday at Monmouth.
The former is a 3 year old daughter of Blame, who was bred by the William Backer Revocable Trust. The Todd Pletcher trainee came well out from the rail after departing, went three wide from third in the final turn of the one mile turf test, drove clear at the 1/16th and went on to beat favored Pricedtoperfection by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:34.68. The winner, out of the Came Home mare, My Mammy, was ridden by Javier Castellano and paid $8.00.
Sweet Victory is now 4-for-6 with $208,065 in earnings in her young career. This year alone, she is 3-for-5. The stakes at Penn National was her first start away from Gulfstream, where she won a maiden special weight and allowance race then most recently, the Honey Ryder Stakes.
The latter is a 6 year old Lemon Drop Kid horse who was bred by Mr. & Mrs. Bertram Firestone. The Christophe Clement trainee competed one mile in a field of six and faced another Virginia-bred, Rose Brier, who tried to go gate-to-wire but fell short in his bid. Middleburg moved inside early on, saved ground while well placed and reached the front with 1/16th to go. With Joe Bravo in the irons, the winner held off runner-up Vyjack by a neck in 1:33.62. Rose Brier, who led through mid-stretch, was third.
The established and consistent Middleburg, who is out of the Spectrum mare, Rum Charger, has earned $429,760 from 17 “in the money” finishes in 19 starts. His last 7 races have been in graded stakes and he has been a “top three” finisher in six of them