April 12, 2024

Jody’s Pride returns a winner in Busher

Jody's Pride wins The Busher at Aqueduct
Jody's Pride confirmed herself as a top Kentucky Oaks contender by winning the Busher at Aqueduct (Photo by Coglianese Photography / Credit to Chelsea Durand)

A neck second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), Jody’s Pride opened her three-year-old season with a victory in Saturday’s $200,000 Busher S. at Aqueduct, rallying to score by 2 1/4 lengths over a sloppy track. Jorge Abreu trains the once-beaten daughter of American Pharoah, and Jody’s Pride completed a one-turn mile in 1:38.49 with new rider Jose Lezcano.

The Road to the Kentucky Oaks series qualifier offered points on a 50-25-15-10-5 scale to the top five finishers, and Jody’s Pride jumped to the top of the Kentucky Oaks (G1) leaderboard with a 65-point total. The well-regarded dark bay filly is campaigned by Parkland Thoroughbreds and Sportsmen Stable.

A 10-length debut winner at Saratoga last August, Jody’s Pride has rallied from just off the pace in her last three starts, closing to win the off-the-turf Matron S. over six furlongs at Aqueduct in October before just missing in the 1 1/16-mile Juvenile Fillies. She left the Busher gate as the odds-on favorite and stalked about a length back of pacesetter Carmelina through opening splits in :23.62 and :46.81.

Jody’s Pride took closer order on the far turn and made her move entering the stretch, dueling briefly with Carmelina before powering clear. Carmelina, who was off at 8-1 following a win in the Gin Talking S. at Laurel Park, held second by 2 1/2 lengths over 3-1 second choice Gin Gin, and next came Aoife’s Magic, Regulatory Risk, Sicilian Princess, and Princess Mayfair.

Bred in Kentucky by Steve Weston, Jody’s Pride is the first stakes winner from the Scat Daddy mare Jody’s Song, a half-sister to multiple stakes winner and Grade 1-placed Make Mischief. The New York-based filly could aim for the 1 1/8-mile Gazelle (G3) at Aqueduct on April 6.

Aqueduct also offered a pair of stakes for older horses on Saturday’s undercard, the $175,000 Tom Fool H. (G3) over six furlongs and the $150,000 Stymie for milers.

Lea Farms’ Super Chow made all the pace in the Tom Fool, holding by 1 1/4 lengths over the late-rallying Manny Wah while drifting out toward the grandstands’ rail in the final furlong. Now a six-time stakes winner, the four-year-old colt has opened 2024 with back-to-back graded wins, taking the seven-furlong Toboggan (G3) by 4 1/4 lengths on Feb. 3, and Madison Oliver had the call for Jorge Delgado.

The speedy Kentucky-bred son of Lord Nelson established fractions in :22.74 and :46.06 before stopping the teletimer in 1:10.86, and Super Chow scored as the 5-2 second choice. Manny Wah, the second-longest shot among seven runners at 14-1, wound up 2 1/4 lengths better than Stage Left, and 7-5 favorite Rotknee gave way after chasing the pace and finished sixth.

Winner of the Hutcheson and Limehouse early last year, Super Chow captured six of his first eight starts, but he lost seven in a row before winning the Toboggan. The sprinter is now on the upswing, and his career record reads 17-8-4-4.

In the Stymie, Kinetic Sky got up in deep stretch to prevail in a tight finish, edging pacesetter Quality Chic by a nose. Petulante, the 9-5 favorite in his first start since winning the Salvator Mile (G3) last June, had every chance in the stretch but wound up a half-length back in third.

Lezcano was up on Kinetic Sky, who left the starting gate at 4.90-1 odds for Rick Dutrow, and the reformed claimer earned his first stakes win. He found his niche at a mile after recording a pair of thirds in the 1 1/8-mile Queen’s County S. and seven-furlong Toboggan H. (G3).

Sanford Goldfarb, Alan Kahn, David Tanzman, and Steve Speranza own the six-year-old horse, a Kentucky-bred son of Runhappy, and Kinetic Sky improved his career mark to 27-7-8-7.