02/22/2016 12:30PM

Congrats has huge day

Amanda Hodges Weir/Hodges Photography
Venus Valentine's upsets the Rachel Alexandra Stakes. She is one of three progeny of Congrats with a stakes win Saturday.

Congrats has become known as a solid sire of fillies and lived up to that billing again on Saturday. The A.P. Indy stallion, who stands at WinStar Farm in Versailles, Ky., was represented by three stakes winners on the day – longshot Venus Valentine in the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra at Fair Grounds, the unbeaten Cash Back in the Melody of Colors at Gulfstream, and the stalwart Haveyougoneaway in the Spring Fever at Oaklawn.

Venus Valentine, a Rosemont Farm homebred, won at first asking last July at Ellis Park but finished unplaced in her three subsequent starts, resulting in her longshot status for the Rachel Alexandra. The filly closed well in the lane under a cagey ride from Corey Lanerie for the win, triggering a $150.40 payoff.

With the victory, Venus Valentine earned 50 points toward qualifying for the Kentucky Oaks, giving Congrats another contender for the filly classic. His chief earner this year is the unbeaten Polar River, who has taken all of her starts by open lengths, most recently the UAE 1000 Guineas Trial. Forever Darling, also by Congrats, put herself on the Oaks points board by winning the Grade 2 Santa Ynez Stakes before finishing unplaced in the Rachel Alexandra.

Cash Back was making her stakes debut in the Melody of Colors on Saturday on the Gulfstream turf and remained unbeaten in three career starts with the victory.

Haveyougoneaway’s win in the Spring Fever was her second win from as many starts this year, as she took the American Beauty last month at Oaklawn. The 5-year-old New York-bred mare has won three stakes overall.

Congrats raced for five seasons, earning $998,960. His career highlights included wins in the Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes in 2004 and the Grade 2 San Pasqual Handicap in 2005. He also finished second in the Santa Anita Handicap and third in the Hollywood Gold Cup in 2005.

Retired to stud at Vinery’s Florida farm, Congrats was the leading freshman sire of 2010, triumphing over a class that also included Bernardini and War Front, on the strength of Grade 1-winning fillies Turbulent Descent and Wickedly Perfect. That earned him a move to Vinery’s Kentucky base for the 2011 season. Two years later, he moved to WinStar Farm as Vinery’s Tom Simon sold his U.S.-based operations.