03/26/2011 4:35PM

Bourbonette Oaks a runaway for Summer Soiree


FLORENCE, Ky. - Trainer Larry Jones entered the week having already one leading Kentucky Oaks contender in Honeybee winner Joyful Victory.

Now after Saturday, he has a second one in Summer Soiree, who ran herself into the Kentucky Oaks picture with wire-to-wire romp in the Grade 3, $100,000 Bourbonette Oaks on the undercard of the Vinery Spiral Stakes at Turfway.

Just as she had in her only other race as a 3-year-old, a similar front-running score at Oaklawn in January, Summer Soiree looked the part of the winner from the start. She broke alertly, and set modest fractions of 24.84 and 48.42 seconds, pricking her ears and settling into a comfortable pace in the one-mile race.

On the second turn she began to distance herself from Proud House, who had provided token pressure in the early going, and quickly pulled away from the pack, even as runner-up Harlan's Ruby launched a bid into contention from midpack.

Once in the stretch it was a simply a matter of how far the winner would score by. With jockey Gabe Saez looking over his shoulders for competition, she coasted home a 10 3/4-length winner. A daughter of red-hot sire War Front, she raced a mile in 1:38.75, paying $5 as the favorite.

Jones, who trains Summer Soiree for Wahoo Partners and Bret and Brereton Jones, said he would like to run her back in the May 6 Kentucky Oaks without a race in between.

He prepared Hard Spun similarly for the 2007 Kentucky Derby, a race in which he was second to Street Sense, after the colt won the Lane's End on Polytrack in late-March that year.

Her time between races into this Bourbonette "was 40-something days; her big race at Oaklawn off three months," he said. "We could very well go into the Oaks off this."

Following runner-up Harlan's Ruby across the wire was Suave Voir Faire, who rallied late to outfinish Lilacs and Lace in the show photo.

Hansel: Ghost is Clear by a neck

A cutback in distance and a class drop from graded stakes company put Ghost is Clear back in the winner's circle in the $50,000 Hansel Stakes.

Sixth early behind a hot pace of 22.46 and 45.65 seconds in the six-furlong race for 3-year-olds, Ghost is Clear rallied powerfully down the center of the track to edge Philippe by a neck.

Ghost Is Clear, a son of Ghostzapper owned by Twin Creeks Farm and trained by Mike Maker who had run 10th in his preceding start, the Grade 3 Southwest at a mile, raced six furlongs in 1:10.78 and paid $6.60 as the favorite in the field of nine.

Phillippe, who stalked the pace in third early, proved game for the place and was well clear of pacesetter Getaway Guy in third.

Cuvee's Image, Inhisglory, and Birdie Beats Par were scratched.

Queen Stakes: Sweet Gladys a solid winner

Sweet Gladys won for the home team start off the stakes action at Turfway in the $50,000 Queen Stakes. Capitalizing on her local, Polytrack experience, she pulled clear in the stretch for a 2 1/2-length victory at 20-1.

Well placed in third early under James Lopez, as favored Midst and longshot Snowscape set a pressured pace of 22.71 and 45.80 seconds in the six-furlong race, the long-striding Sweet Gladys took command shortly coming into the stretch and was never threatened.

Hyperlink rallied belatedly on the outside to grab second, edging the ground-saving Happy Week by a head for the place.

Midst faded to fourth after drifting out exiting the turn.

The winner, a 6-year-old daughter of Awesome Again, won the first stakes race of her career in the Queen for owner Old Henry Thoroughbreds and trainer Billy Denzik. She raced six furlongs in 1:10.84, paying $42.20.