She arrived six days late, but Venus Valentine (Congrats), completely ignored at 74-1 in the GII Rachel Alexandra S., flew home up the rail from last to first to pull off a shocker Saturday at Fair Grounds. “They told me she was a longshot today, but she was doing really good and to just let her run her race,” said jockey Corey Lanerie. Midnight On Oconee (Midnight Lute) was second, while Shaken (Uncle Mo) checked in third. Odds-on favorite Stageplay (Curlin) faded to fifth after threatening at the top of the lane.
Saturday, Fair Grounds
TWINSPIRES.COM RACHEL ALEXANDRA S.-GII, $200,000, FG,
2-20, 3yo, f, 1 1/16m, 1:45.24, ft.
1–#@VENUS VALENTINE, 116, f, 3, by Congrats
1st Dam: Valentine Fever (MSW & GSP, $229,361), by Stormin Fever
2nd Dam: Betshe Hath a Way, by Gilded Time
3rd Dam: Rambuckus, by Bold Ruckus
($140,000 RNA Ylg ’14 KEESEP). O/B-Rosemont Farm LLC (KY);
T-Thomas M. Amoss; J-Corey J. Lanerie. $120,000. Lifetime
Record: 5-2-0-0, $145,185. Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple
Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Midnight On Oconee, 116, f, 3, Midnight Lute–Just Fabulous,
by Include. ($60,000 RNA Ylg ’14 FTKOCT). O/B-Cottonwood
Stables LLC (KY); T-J. Larry Jones. $40,000.
3–Shaken, 116, f, 3, Uncle Mo–Seattle Shimmer, by Seattle
Slew. ($190,000 Ylg ’14 KEEJAN; $80,000 2yo ’15 FTKHRA).
O/B-Mark Stansell (KY); T-Michael Stidham. $20,000.Margins: 1, HF, NK. Odds: 74.20, 8.40, 7.70.
Also Ran: Royal Obsession, Stageplay, Lovable Lyss, Finley’sluckycharm, Lemon Drop Belle, Forever Darling.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
A debut winner at Ellis last July, the chestnut was fourth in the Arlington-Washington Lassie in August before hitting the bench.
She returned to finish fifth behind Midnight On Oconee in a sloppy local optional claimer over six panels Nov. 21, and was a late-on-the-scene fourth last time in an about-one-mile grass affair Jan. 8.
Completely outrun as they dueled up front through splits of :23.02 and :46.33, the longshot hugged the rail turning for home and kept on coming as Midnight On Oconee found herself out of gas as the line loomed.
“She’s been a bit of a guessing game,” noted trainer Tom Amoss. “She won her first start for us and we knew she had great raw talent. She was tying up and cramping up a lot muscle-wise. We solved this problem… we felt she had a real chance based on how she was coming into the race.”
The winner’s dam was a multiple stakes winner at three in 2008 before completing the exacta in the GIII Bourbonette Oaks. Valentine Fever produced a City Zip filly in 2014 and a Trappe Shot filly in 2015. She was bred back to Liaison.