For a race in which she so easily towered on paper once her stablemate scratched, the start of the 2018 Pretty Jenny Stakes could hardly have been more difficult for Jean Elizabeth.
Unraced since a tour de force victory in an allowance optional claiming race at Hawthorne last October, she was fractious in her long-awaited return to a starting gate on race day. "The gate guy was trying to get her head pointed straight ahead," recalled jockey Julio Felix, "but when he got her straight she lunged and hit her head, hard, on the gate."
From there, things went far better for the Larry Rivelli trainee.
Despite the difficult break, Felix was still able to send Jean Elizabeth to the lead, and set an opening quarter of 22.30 with the pair of Scott Becker trainees, Royal's Position and Suz, stalking just behind her. Coming into the turn, Jean Elizabeth let it out a notch, slipping clear of the chasing pack on her way to a half mile in 46.02.
Though Suz faded approaching the lane, Royal's Position continued to give chase along the rail. Longshot Tumultuous Gal, well off the pace early, had been gaining on the turn, and found another gear in the final furlong. Jean Elizabeth's lead was diminishing, but she was too far gone. She crossed the wire in 1:11.14 for six furlongs on fast dirt, a length clear of Tumultuous Gal, who finished a neck better than Royal's Position. Another seven and a half lengths back, Ensign ran along for fourth. Suz, eased in the final sixteenth of a mile, completed the order of finish. 2017 Showtime Deb Stakes winner Richie'slilwildcat was a trainer's scratch.
Jean Elizabeth is a three-year-old grey or roan daughter of Adios Charlie out of the Lit de Justice mare Rooney Doodle. Bred by Richard Ravin and Larry Rivelli, he is owned by his breeders as well as Vince Foglia's V-Leaf Stables. She raced twice for trainer Larry Rivelli, with Felix in the irons, last year at age two. She won a maiden special weight at Arlington from gate to wire, and then led at every call in a $75K/N1X allowance optional claiming race at Hawthorne last October. A winner by over eight lengths in that start, Jean Elizabeth left both eventual Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante winner Cowgirl Callie and eventual Whitworth 3rd Isabellacannetella in her wake in that allowance. This victory over fellow state-bred sophomore fillies makes her a winner of all three of her lifetime starts, and Jean Elizabeth brought her total lifetime earnings to $64,188 with the $30,000 winner's share of the Pretty Jenny purse.
Though Jean Elizabeth is the first stakes winner out of her dam, Rooney Doodle's progeny have met great success on the Chicago circuit. Hollarforadollar (Bring the Heat) placed second in the 2015 running of the Pretty Jenny, Nevrmesswithrichie (Bring the Heat) is an eleven-time winner, and both Unscathed (Bring the Heat) and What's Up Dude (First Dude) are also winners. Two-year-old colt Dugout, a New York-bred full brother to Jean Elizabeth, has been working at Hawthorne and Arlington, toward his debut.
Also from a pedigree perspective, second-place Tumultuous Gal is the first stakes-placed runner for Illinois sire West Ranger. A 12-year-old son of Vindication who won a maiden special weight at Fairmount Park for owner/trainer D. Mike Campbell, West Ranger stands at Southern Illinois Stud for $1,000. A member of West Ranger's second crop, D. Mike Campbell trains Tumultuous Gal, and he and Earl Robertson campaign her as a homebred.
Jean Elizabeth paid $3.20 to win. The $1 exacta over Tumultuous Gal (4-2) returned $17.30. A trifecta with Royal's Position in the third position paid $5.66 for each $0.20 base bet. The $0.20 superfecta with Ensign in the fourth rung paid $5.66.
Photograph by Four Footed Fotos.
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