01/26/2013 11:34PM

Sam Houston: Joyful Victory sets track record winning Houston Ladies Classic

Coady Photography
Joyful Victory, ridden by Rosie Napravnik, breaks the Sam Houston track record for 1 1/16 miles with a time of 1:42.30 in the inaugural $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic.

Joyful Victory turned the tables on frequent rival Brushed by a Star, when she won the inaugural $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic over that one Saturday night at Sam Houston Race Park, and in the process set a track record.

Joyful Victory led throughout for a 4 1/4-length win over Brushed by a Star, and covered the 1 1/16 miles for fillies and mares in 1:42.30. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back in third to Sisterly Love. The win was one of two stakes scores on the card for the trainer-jockey team of Larry Jones and Rosie Napravnik, who also took the $75,000 Champion Energy Services in course record time with Ikon Ike.

“This has been a good night,” said Jones.

Joyful Victory ($5) moved to the lead soon after the start of the Houston Ladies Classic, and was up by a length through an opening quarter in 24.04 seconds. She proceeded to put up fractions of 47.92 for the half-mile and 1:12.07 for six furlongs. Joyful Victory spurted clear in the stretch, two races after being edged by a head by Brushed by a Star in the Grade 2 Chilukki at Churchill Downs.

“This filly likes to run on the lead,” said Napravnik. “It wasn’t necessarily what we wanted to do, but when no one else came after it, we said, ‘Sure, we’ll take it.’ ”

Jones was well-pleased with the effort from Joyful Victory, who races for Fox Hill Farms.

“The intent was to get her to relax, and since no one went, she was very relaxed and comfortable on the front end,” he said.

Jones said Joyful Victory would be pointed for the Grade 1, $300,000 Santa Margarita at Santa Anita on March 16. Last year, she shipped to Santa Anita and was second in the Grade 1 Zenyatta.