Congratulations to six Virginia-bred horses who won pre-holiday races at tracks around the country in mid-December.
Repo Rocks had the biggest win of all — in an $82,000 allowance race at Aqueduct which boosted his career bankroll to $206,071. The 3-year-old Tapiture gelding was best of 11 in a 6 1/2-furlong dirt test. Bred by Mrs. C. Oliver Iselin III and winner of two straight in New York, Repo Rocks is out of the Not For Love mare, Hawaiian Love. From 12 starts in 2021, he has 3 wins, 3 runner-up finishes and 2 thirds with $181,846 in earnings.
Ready and Rich snagged his sixth career trip to the winners circle with a three-quarter length triumph in a $19,000 claiming race at Penn National. The 5-year-old Super Saver gelding beat seven others in the 6-furlong race. Bred by Chance Farm, Ready and Rich captured his second straight win while his bankroll inched closer to $200,000 — he now has $195,552. It was his 20th career “in-the-money” finish. He is out of the More Than Ready mare, Ready Reply.
Susan Cooney’s Jestful authored a dominant 9-length win at Mountaineer December 14 in a one mile, $18,800 allowance race. The 4-year-old Majesticperfection gelding crossed in 1:41.60 and has now bagged eight straight “top three” finishes between Laurel, Colonial, Pimlico and Mountaineer. Jestful’s ’21 report card shows 2 wins, 5 runner-ups, 2 thirds and $58,754 in earnings. He is out of Sister Graceful by Mr. Greeley.
Strands of Pearls and Ichigo broke their maidens at Penn National within two nights of each other — the former in a 2-year-old filly sprint December 10 and the latter in a maiden claimer for ages 3 & up December 12.
Strands of Pearls, a daughter of Super Saver, went gate-to-wire in her effort and crossed one length the best at 6-furlongs with a $17,000 purse. Bred and owned by Morgan’s Ford Farm, the she is out of the Black Tie Affair mare, Pearls.
Raleigh Colston Minor’s Ichigo, a 4-year-old Fierce Wind gelding, won handily by 7 1/4 lengths at 1 1/16th miles with Julio Hernandez in the irons. The winner, who Minor also bred, is out of Little Often Anni by Awad.
My Boss Lady’s win at Oaklawn December 12 completed the Virginia six-pack. The 3-year-old filly, bred by Lazy Lane Farms, won a $25,000 claiming race by 1 3/4 lengths as betting favorite. The daughter of Street Boss has 2 wins and 3 seconds from 8 starts in ’21, good for $45,161 in purse winnings. She is out of the Malibu Moon mare, Moonlight Lady.
Five of the six winning owners will receive a 25% bonus on top of purse earnings as part of the VTA’s Mid-Atlantic Owner’s Bonus incentive program which rewards owners of Commonwealth-breds for wins at any track in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Among Virginia-certified horses who scored recent victories was Kentucky-bred Baba, who won a $28,000 claiming race at Aqueduct and pushed her bankroll into six-digit range. The 3-year-old filly, bred by Woodslane Farm, previously won a maiden special weight at Aqueduct and a claiming race at Saratoga in 2021. The December 9 win pushed her earnings to $104,920.
Susan Cooney’s 4-year-old gelding Flank Speed also got his picture taken at Penn in a $28,000 allowance race December 10. The Maryland-bred is less than $5,000 away from $100,000 in earnings — $69,100 of that has come this year alone. He is by Midshipman out of Leva Mae by Emancipator.