Viking Vania Keeps On Winning; Takes HOU Ladies Classic

HOU Ladies Classic (Grade 3)- $400.000 Purse
HOU- For Fillies and Mares Four Years old and Upward
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
January 28, 2018

Viking Vania continues to impress us more and more. The winner of the 2017 BC Distaff had taken two and a half months off from the race track, but clearly has never lost an ounce of the form that she had going into that race. Closing out 2017 in that fashion was not the only accolade for her, either, as she also won the Personal Ensign, and ran second in the Cotillion at PRX, a race that is always a mini-BC Distaff itself. What’s exciting about her is that she may just be getting started, and her win today in the HOU Ladies Classic shows that she is poised to do much more, and is not going to sit on her laurels to this point. I look forward to seeing where she goes from here, but for now it’s congratulations to Delta Farms, who wins this stake for the first time in their career. R J Albarado, who has become her regular rider, also wins the race for the first time in his career. The time of the win was 1:41.34, topping the old record by three tenths of a second! Let’s take a look!

(1/4 Mile- :23.22)- No one is particularly shot out to the lead as the field leaves the starting gate. Ultimately, Whispering Nurse and D J C Racing Stables are out in front of the field from the seven post, but this leads to her being wide into the opening turn. Killer Angels, from TwinTowersRacing, who also started well, was able to get to the rail and assumes the lead in the middle of the opening turn. Laffin In Texas stalks the top two for Sanny Village, and behind her are a threesome consisting of our race winner, Viking Vania from Delta Farms, being between Musical Treat (Mb Stables) and Dirty Deeds (Aer Stables). They are about two and a half lengths off the pace. The remaining three horses are also running side by side, and are five lengths off the lead. Notarized Kate (Pristine Stables) is to the inside of Lady Opus (Luz International) and Mortality (John Henry) here.

(½ Mile- :46.30)- The second quarter of the race moves along rather swiftly, even though there is no change at the front of the field. Killer Angels continues to lead, and has Whispering Nurse to her outside, and about half a length back. Moving up here would be Musical Treat and Viking Vania. There had always been a little daylight between Laffin In Texas and the rail, and the two of them together move up to take advantage of it. Laffin In Texas is about three lengths back now, in the fifth position. Dirty Deeds is sixth, having lost about a length or a little more to Viking Vania over this portion of the race, which is worth nothing given the eventual margin between the races top two finishers. Towards the back, Notarized Kate and Lady Opus have left Mortality behind.

(Top Of Stretch, 1.5F To Go)- Things get exciting as the field makes their way around the final turn. Killer Angels, who had been leading, gives up the lead and seems to be in trouble to lose a handful of positions as others clearly have more push at this point. Whispering Nurse took over the lead momentarily, but Viking Vania, who had patiently been waiting for her time to strike, has a nice shot to the outside of Whispering Nurse, and she takes advantage of it. She does not have the lead quite yet, but it was seeming inevitable. Musical Treat was hanging tough here as well, she was not as strong as Viking Vania, but still looked to be in a good spot for a good finish. While all this was going on, many eyes were on Dirty Deeds, who was full of run while running in a five-wide position. She had passed a few of those in the middle of the field, and now was less then a length from the lead. At this moment, it was looking like she was going to be the one to beat. Could Viking Vania hold her off? Meanwhile, Laffin In Texas was maintaining her position, but not advancing, and Notarized Kate was creeping into the picture just a little bit. Lady Opus was in striking range for a strong finish as well, though Mortality was the only one who seemed to be out of it.

(Finish- 1:41.34)– In the stretch, Viking Vania dug down for just a little bit more, and R J Albarado made sure that his BC Distaff champion knew of the presence of Dirty Deeds to the outside. Getting by Whispering Nurse was methodically done, but Dirty Deeds had caught up to be within a half length. But then, that’s where all the progress stopped. Was it because of Viking Vania running in the stretch like an amazing champion, or Dirty Deeds paying the toll for the wide trip? Maybe, a little bit of both. Whispering Nurse gets a third place finish, and looked with it, so keep an eye on her as well. Musical Treat’s effort today will win a lot of other big races, but today, it’s a fourth place finish. These four were the class of the field, and the trainers should all be happy. Notarized Kate is the best of the rest, topping Killer Angels, Laffin In Texas, Lady Opus, and Mortality.

(About The Winner)- Viking Vania, trained by Delta Farms and ridden by R J Albarado, is a four year old filly by Viking Rage, and out of Vanias Tree. She was bred in Kentucky by Delta Farms as a first quarter two year old, and the trainer has been able to enjoy all the highs and lows (ok, the highs and the not quite as highs) of her career thus far. The win is her sixth in twelve starts, and its her fourth graded win. Her career earnings are now $2,286.410.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Viking Vania Delta Farms Albarado R J 5.80   11 1:41.34  
  Dirty Deeds Aer Stables Velazquez J R 5.90   21/4 1:41.55  
  Whispering Nurse D J C Racing Stables Bejarano R 5.45   33/4 1:41.64  
  Musical Treat Mb Stables Ortiz I Jr 7.05   42 1:41.79  
  Notarized Kate Pristine Stables Leparoux J R 13.35   51/4 1:42.19  
  Killer Angels TwinTowersRacing Castellano J J 7.20   63/4 1:42.28  
  Laffin In Texas Sanny Village Talamo J 5.40   71 1:42.47  
  Lady Opus Luz International Van Dyke D 12.20   81 1:42.72  
  Mortality John Henry Husbands P 4.40   9 1:43.06  

Track: Fast

Time: :231  :461  1:10   1:411

$2 Mutuel Prices:

2 – Viking Vania 13.60 6.20 4.30
3 – Dirty Deeds   6.40 4.00
7 – Whispering Nurse     4.00

$1 Exacta: 2 – 3 Paid 30.30

$1 Trifecta: 2 – 3 – 7 Paid 488.70

Scratched: None

— NS

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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