Peter Brant’s Sistercharlie (IRE) swept past favored Dona Bruja (ARG) and La Coronel in deep stretch and went on to a 2 1/4-length victory over stablemate Fourstar Crook to win the 30th running of the $350,000 Coolmore Jenny Wiley (G1) for fillies and mares before a Saturday afternoon crowd of 22,145.
Chad Brown, who saddled Ball Dancing to win the 2015 Jenny Wiley, swept the top three spots in the race with Off Limits (IRE) finishing another neck back in third. The victory marked his fourth graded stakes triumph of the 2018 Spring Meet.
John Velazquez rode Sistercharlie and recorded his 50th stakes race at Keeneland. He is the sixth rider to reach that milestone.
Dona Bruja shot to the front out of the gate under Jose Ortiz and reeled off fractions of :23.48, :47.76 and 1:12.14 with La Coronel in closest pursuit. Leaving the far turn and approaching the head of the stretch, the two opened a daylight advantage that was quickly devoured by Sistercharlie.
In deep stretch, Fourstar Crook surged through on the rail to gain second, and Off Limits rallied widest of all to claim third.
Sistercharlie covered the 1 1/16 miles on a turf course labeled firm in 1:41.41. The victory was worth $210,000 and increased Sistercharlie’s earnings to $731,403 with a record of 7-4-2-0.
Sistercharlie is a 4-year-old daughter of Myboycharlie (IRE) out of the Galileo (IRE) mare Starlet’s Sister. Sistercharlie had finished second in her lone previous U.S. start in July in the Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1).
Sistercharlie returned $8.80, $5.40 and $4.20. Fourstar Crook, ridden by Javier Castellano, returned $7.20 and $4.40 with Off Limits paying $3.80 to show under Joel Rosario.
La Coronel finished another half-length back in fourth and was followed in order by Dona Bruja, Cambodia, Kitten’s Roar, Proctor’s Ledge, Bletchley (GB), Ultra Brat and Lovely Bernadette.
Racing continues Sunday with a nine-race program that begins at 1:05 p.m. ET.
Quotes from the $350,000 Coolmore Jenny Wiley (G1)
Chad Brown (winning trainer of the first three finishers: Sistercharlie [IRE], Fourstar Crook and Off Limits [IRE])
“She’s really matured and this was really a team effort. After her (last) race last year (second on July 8 at Belmont Park), she got really sick on us. We have a great team of veterinarians that worked on her. She had a lung infection that turned real bad. We rested her and (owner) Peter Brant was very, very patient to give her all that time. My staff did a tremendous job bringing her back after such a lengthy layoff.”
On whether he brings specific horses to run at Keeneland
“You bring your best ones to Keeneland or you won’t have any luck here. Luckily I have a lot of good horses and my staff has been working overtime. All the credit goes to them.”
John Velazquez (winning rider)
“I got good position going to the first turn, a position where I wanted to be. She sat really well. By the three-eighths pole, I knew I was in a good position – just looking for where I was going to shoot through. I got through the rail. Had the best horse.”
On earning his 50th Keeneland stakes victory
“I’m blessed to ride for a lot of good trainers with a lot of good horses. Trainers like Chad Brown give me the opportunities.”
Javier Castellano (rider of runner-up Fourstar Crook)
“She had some things (working) against her because she was in the way outside post position. I think maybe a mile and an eighth is better for her. I liked everything she did today. I liked the way she finished. I know the winner is one of the best fillies in the country and she had a very good trip.”
Joel Rosario (rider of third-place finisher Off Limits)
“That was a good trip. She was a little bit tired coming home, but I got through, and she ran well. The winner ran a master race. For a moment, I thought I was going to get second. She came out of the gate great and was in a good spot. She was nice and comfortable, and ran beautifully. When the winner (Sistercharlie) came from the inside, she (Off Limits) was already flying.”
Jose Lezcano (rider of fourth-place finisher La Coronel)
“She broke good. I was in the place I wanted to be. She tried hard, but that big filly (Sistercharlie) came running. We weren’t going to catch her.”
Jose Ortiz (rider of fifth-place finisher and beaten favorite Dona Bruja [ARG])
“I didn’t want to be there (on the lead) today. She broke out of the gate really sharp and I wasn’t able to get her back and set her behind somebody. She was very keen the first part of the race; I think the early fractions killed me a little bit. The plan was to sit behind somebody – second, third or fourth. But she broke really well. I wish I could have taken her back.”
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