08/14/2016 5:20PM

Joya Real wins Blue Sparkler for second straight year

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Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO
Joya Real, ridden by Frankie Pennington, won the Blue Sparkler Stakes for the second consecutive year at Monmouth Park on Sunday.

Trainer Kathleen DeMasi entered three horses in the $61,200 Blue Sparkler Stakes at Monmouth Park on Sunday, but scratched two of them and in the end needed only Joya Real, who won the about 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint for fillies and mares for a second straight year.

Joya Real, now 7, rallied from well back to win the Blue Sparkler in 2015, but raced much closer to the pace Sunday. She has now won a stakes at Monmouth in three straight years, with her other win coming in the 2014 Fort Monmouth. Joya Real, who is based at Parx Racing with DeMasi, is now 4 for 7 over the Monmouth turf.

"We’ve had this race picked out for her the whole time," DeMasi said. "She really likes this track."

Demasi said Joya Real would likely make her next start in the $200,000 Turf Amazon, a five-furlong turf sprint at Parx on Sept. 5.

Nite Delite engaged for the early lead in the Blue Sparkler with Maggiesfreuddnslip and Brandy's Girl to her outside. After a furlong, Nite Delite showed the way on a short lead over Maggiesfreuddnslip with Cali Thirty Seven, Joya Real, and Brandy's Girl - from the rail out - stalking in the second flight.

Nite Delite put Maggiesfreuddnslip away on the far turn and, entering the stretch, jockey Frankie Pennington took Joya Real to Nite Delite's outside. Joya Real took a short lead nearing the sixteenth pole and then held the advantage to the wire with Nite Delite refusing to give any further ground. The final margin was a head.

Joya Real paid $11.20 to win as the fourth choice in the nine-horse field. She was timed over firm ground in 1:02.89. Owned by the Pewter Stable, she is now 10 for 29 in her career with earnings of $450,999. DeMasi's other entrants were Everything Lovely and Burn Control.

Cali Thirty Seven finished third, a half-length behind Nite Delite following a tricky trip in which she never got off the rail. She galloped out in front after the finish and is a horse to watch in her next race.

Brandy's Girl was fanned four wide into the stretch and then finished willingly to be fourth, a head behind Cali Thirty Seven.

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