02/25/2017 7:21PM

Yorkiepoo Princess makes Busher her third straight stakes win

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Joe Labozzetta/NYRA
Yorkiepoo Princess drew off in the stretch to win the Busher Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Two turns. Dirt in her face. Fog.

None of it mattered to Yorkiepoo Princess Saturday at Aqueduct as she recorded a 1 3/4-length victory in the $150,000 Busher Stakes, her third consecutive stakes victory. Full House, who prompted the early pace and made the lead in upper stretch, finished second by 3 1/4 lengths over Tiz Rae Anna, who set the early pace.

Yorkiepoo Princess, a daughter of Kantharos purchased by owner Danny Chen for $8,000, added the Busher to earlier stakes wins in the Ruthless and Furlough. Both of those races were run at six furlongs. The Busher was at 1 1/16 miles, a distance Yorkiepoo Princess had yet to run.

Leading up to the Busher, trainer Ed Barker said he put lengthy works into the filly that began at the finish line and allowed Yorkiepoo Princess to get used to running into the clubhouse turn.

Yorkiepoo Princess, who won her sprints in front-running fashion, was seventh after the opening quarter-mile run in 23.75 seconds. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. said he wasn’t planning to be that far back until he spoke to Barker in the paddock.

“I wanted to break out of there, I saw myself even with the other horses, first or second,” said Ortiz, who won three races on Saturday’s card after winning four Friday. “He told me ‘don’t worry if you’re behind horses because I’ve been working her like that.’ After that, I put my hands down, tried to relax her and save ground.”

Yorkiepoo Princess moved into a ground-saving fourth early on down the backside; she remained in that position until the quarter pole. At that point, Ortiz guided Yorkiepoo Princess into the five-path turning for home. Yorkiepoo Princess took over outside the eighth pole and drew off despite drifting out in deep stretch.

Yorkiepoo Princess covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:47.65 and returned $5.70 as the favorite.

“She ran to her training,” Barker said. “I was very, very impressed, I really liked her race. There were some good fillies in here, too. [Full House] is a real horse.”

Said Ortiz: “She’s still impressing me every time she runs. She’s not the most good-looking filly, but she can run.”

Yorkiepoo Princess earned 50 qualifying points to the Kentucky Oaks on May 5 at Churchill Downs. Barker said Yorkiepoo Princess wasn’t nominated to the Oaks by the Feb. 18 first deadline. There is a second deadline on April 12, when she could be nominated for a fee of $1,500.

“To be honest, today is a big dream for us,” Barker said. “We’ll see what happens in the next three, four, or five weeks.”

Barker did say that Yorkiepoo Princess will be pointed to the Grade 2, $300,000 Gazelle Stakes at 1 1/8 miles over Aqueduct’s main track on April 8.

Full House was making her first start against winners. Jockey Rajiv Maragh said he was pleased with his filly’s race.

“That’s as good as a horse can run without winning,” Maragh said. “I was happy with everything. Even though she didn’t win today, I think this is probably her best race.”