01/27/2013 12:34AM

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.


Gary Smith More than 1 year ago
Hats off to Sam Houston Park and HRTV for a Great presentation of the Ladies Classic.Joyful Victory had her own way today,Brushed by A Star was valiant in defeat.the rivalry now reads Brushed By A Star 2 ,Joyfull Victory 1.
PhiloSkinner More than 1 year ago
Nice tip of the cap for Ontario breeders (No I'm not from Ont.) Ver nice filly
Advance Plumbing More than 1 year ago
It seemed like a very speed favoring track, way to take advantage Rosie.
Jeff Sanders More than 1 year ago
I worked for Larry for 4 years hes a good man an traine rtoo
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Joyful Victory displayed a real killer instinct in this race, pouring it on in the stretch. This from a mare that has dropped a number of tough decisions. I thought Joyful Victory was overhyped when she was an Oaks prospect, but she's in career best form now and is a legit top 5-10 type among the distaffers. And she has a big shot to get that grade 1 in the Santa Margarita against a dubious Cali distaff division.
therealdubwhite More than 1 year ago
One would wonder if Mr. Jones is aware that the Grade 1 $500,000 Apple Blossom will be run at Oaklawn in a couple of months?
Janice Palmer More than 1 year ago
I'm sure Larry Jones is quite aware. Get a new racing secretary and you might stand a chance. ;-)
k More than 1 year ago
Fill me in on the racing secretary comment. Is there a rift between Larry and Oaklawn?