Ivanka Flies Away with Las Virgenes Stakes

Las Virgenes Stakes (Grade 2) (KYO)- $200.000 Purse
SA- For Fillies Three Years Old
One Mile on the Dirt
February 4, 2018

It was just the first race of the year for trainer Winning Link Stables, but the long time trainer gets it started on the right foot, as Ivanka trumped the Las Virgenes field, en route to her fourth win in six starts. She certainly looks like a promising one, and it all starts in her bloodlines, being by Chai Latte and out of La Gran Kirky, the latter had a good career that might have been better if she was not the subject of horse selling park early in her career. It is the first win in this stake for the trainer, and the second for V Espinoza, who also won in 2014 with Sinissippi Delite. Congratulations to them! The time of the win was 1:35.20, placing it as the second quickest running of the race all time. Let’s take a look!

(1/4 Mile- :23.31)- Jumping out to the early lead would be the very experienced Dashing Throughout, for Toppedout. Making her 15th start already today, this has become the norm for her early on. There was no one initially eager to chase her, but as the field hit the quarter mark, we see Molly Magne (Gdp Inc) making a four wide bid midway through the opening turn to do so. To her inside, are Im Working On It (Mb Stables), Charleys Bade (Night Rider Stables) and Fortune Tune (Aml Racing). Those three were content to stalk early on, and were two lengths back. Drop back another two lengths and its Pandemonium (Jader Stable), Iron Spirit (End Run Farm), and our eventual winner Ivanka from Winning Link Stables in the three wide position. Going back another length, we find the trailer, Jokes On You, from Mb Stables.

(½ Mile- :46.79)- The field stretches out a little during the second quarter of the race. Dashing Throughout was living up to her name running down the backstretch with a two length lead. Molly Magne looked like she wanted to take more of a run at her, but wisely opted to run alongside Im Working On It for the second position. Fortune Tune remained within a length of then. Ivanka was starting to creep forward just a little bit, enough to make sure she remained in good position to make a move. She was fifth now, and just over four lengths from the lead. Close by to her inside were Iron Spirit and Charleys Bade, and another length to Jokes On You. Pandemonium completely dropped out of contention on the backstretch.

(Top Of Stretch- 1.7F To Go)- Technically at the top of the stretch, Dashing Throughout was still your leader, but it was clear that it was not going to be that way for long. Molly Magne had gradually reeled her in around the turn, and was prepared to make the pass for the lead. However, she may have been a little too methodical with that move because Ivanka simply exploded while rounding the turn. Despite being four wide, and about two lengths behind Molly Magne, Ivanka powerfully handled the turn and drew even with Molly Magne just as Molly caught Dashing Throughout. Fortune Tune had paced herself well during the turn as well, and was ready to blow by Dashing Throughout to the as well. Im Working On It had a good spot on the track at this juncture if she had the legs underneath her. Charleys Bade and Jokes On You were ok at this point, though needed to be better. Iron Spirit was lacking response, and Pandemonium continued to trail.

(Finish- 1:35.20)- Once she entered the stretch, Ivanka maintained her strong stride and was able to pull away from the field. There was no one back there that was about to catch her, and it was all about watching this talented filly hitting the wire all by herself for the win. Personally, I was very impressed with her performance, not just because she takes home a Grade 2, but the manner in which she won the race. We’re going to be hearing her name a lot this spring, I believe. Behind her, the battle for second got intense as Molly Magne and Fortune Tune battled it out, but they were caught by both Charleys Bade and Jokes On You at the wire, and this led to a four way photo for place. Once settled, it was Molly Magne holding off Fortune Tune, and Jokes On You getting fourth, leaving Charleys Bade as the tough luck fifth place filly. Everyone in the top five should be pleased with their run. Running sixth was Im Working On It, who wasn’t bad, but did lack push in the stretch. The tiring Dashing Throughout gets seventh, over the disappointing Pandemonium and Iron Spirit.

About The Winner- Ivanka, trained by Winning Link Stables and ridden by V Espinoza, is a three year old filly by Chai Latte, and out of La Gran Kirky. She was bred in California as a first quarter two year old by Winning Link Stables, the only trainer for which she has ever known. Congratulations to the connections! The win is her fourth in six starts, her second stake win, and first graded win. Her career earnings are now $273.900.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Ivanka Winning Link Stables Espinoza V 13.05   12 1:35.20  
  Molly Magne Gdp Inc Roman E A 3.10   2nk 1:35.66  
  Fortune Tune Aml Racing Van Dyke D 4.45   3no 1:35.71  
  Jokes On You Mb Stables Bejarano R 2.05   4hd 1:35.73  
  Charleys Bade Night Rider Stables Maragh R 46.70   51 1:35.77  
  Im Working On It Mb Stables Talamo J 7.90   63/4 1:36.15  
  Dashing Throughout Toppedout Baze T C 29.15   73/4 1:36.32  
  Pandemonium Jader Stable Smith M E 7.75   81 1:36.51  
  Iron Spirit End Run Farm Nakatani C S 11.90   9 1:36.78  

Track: Fast

Time: :231  :463  1:103  1:351

$2 Mutuel Prices:

7 – Ivanka 28.10 17.20 14.70
8 – Molly Magne   4.40 3.30
5 – Fortune Tune     6.70

$1 Exacta: 7 – 8 Paid 51.80

$1 Trifecta: 7 – 8 – 5 Paid 875.90

Scratched: None

— NS

Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES

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