02/21/2015 9:15PM

I'm a Chatterbox displays versatility to win Rachel Alexandra

Lou Hodges Jr.
I'm a Chatterbox, ridden by Florent Geroux, wins the Rachel Alexandra Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths Saturday.

NEW ORLEANS – Exhibiting versatility that few horses have, I'm a Chatterbox won the $175,000, Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths Saturday at Fair Grounds.

Lovely Maria, a stablemate of I'm a Chatterbox in the barn of trainer Larry Jones, finished second, a neck in front of third-place Forever Unbridled, in a field of 10 3-year-old fillies.

The post draw dictated that I'm a Chatterbox might need to work out a trip different from her front-running romp in the Silverbulletday Stakes on Jan. 17. After breaking from the rail in that race, she immediately took charge en route to an eight-length win.

On Saturday, I'm a Chatterbox started from the No. 10, and there were several speedy fillies to her inside. Jockey Florent Geroux realized that depending on the pace, gunning I'm a Chatterbox for the early lead might not be prudent.

"She just relaxed on her own,'' said Geroux, who secured his third stakes win on the card. "Coming from the 10 hole, we had to either go, sit very close, or take back. When everyone went, I decided to take her back, and she was relaxing very nicely.''

I'm a Chatterbox scooted around rivals on the final turn and stormed to the lead in midstretch to win going away. She ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.10 and paid $8.60 to win as the favorite.

"She overcame the outside post, and it will kill you here,'' said Jones, who trains I'm a Chatterbox for owners Fletcher and Carolyn Gray. "She sat well, but she had done that in her first race, so we weren't too concerned about that.''

He was referring to a maiden race last October at Keeneland, when Ken McPeek was training the filly. He was her trainer for all three of her races as a 2-year-old before Jones took over at this meet.

Lovely Maria was the only filly who ran close to the pace and didn't fade late. "My filly ran her heart out,'' said Kerwin Clark, who rode her. "Both fillies were training well coming into this, and someone had to win it. Too bad it was Florent, but it’s a team effort for Larry and these fillies.”

Jones said he now has options to consider for I'm a Chatterbox and Lovely Maria, with the Fair Grounds Oaks and Ashland at Keeneland among them.