ARLINGTON HEIGHTS — If Arlington had a dirt track, GO LADY JAY would have been a clear standout in today’s Purple Violet Stakes. After all, it was pouring through the first half of the card, and GO LADY JAY has been excellent in the slop. She won an allowance-optional at Hawthorne over a sloppy track last fall, finished third behind Oaks prospect Taxable over the slop at Oaklawn, and demolished a field of older state-breds at Hawthorne on April 30th over sloppy going.
Though water never fazed her, polytrack was the question. GO LADY JAY answered that question confidently today, with a frontrunning victory against fellow Illinois-bred sophomore fillies in the Purple Violet Stakes.
Though GO LADY JAY had solid allowance-level form, it was last year’s champion Illinois-bred Juvenile filly SILVER LODE who took most of the support, both early and late. She had class, having won last year’s Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante, as well as polytrack form, having finished second in the Arlington-Washington Lassie over the surface. However, about ten minutes before post, someone placed a $10,000 bet on CRUSADER GIRL TOO, knocking her win odds down as low as 3/5. As more money flowed into the pool, she drifted up to the 7/2 third choice, behind 2/1 SILVER LODE and 3/1 MISSALANEY, who placed against open stakes company at Tampa Bay Downs and was facing state-breds for the first time.
DUNDALK BAY and PURA LICA were sharp out of the gate, while GO LADY JAY hopped at the start. Jesse Lantz pushed GO LADY JAY along, though, and crossing into the main track it was DUNDALK BAY and GO LADY JAY who opened up on the rest of the field. DUNDALK BAY settled back toward the pack, however, and it was GO LADY JAY alone on the lead. She marked a quick opening quarter in 23.58, but was settling well, and marked the half in 48.12. DUNDALK BAY tracked in the flight just behind the leader, a length and a half back, joined to her inside by FLIN FLON.
Through the turn, the field grew more compact. MISSALANEY was rallying from the back. SILVER LODE was trying to muster a run from midpack. DUNDALK BAY and FLIN FLON tried to gain on the leader. Yet, GO LADY JAY kept the pack at bay. Passing the thre sixteenth pole, Jesse Lantz began to ask the pacesetter, and she had more than enough to give. FLIN FLON tried her best to chase inside, and MISSALANEY improved position outside, but no one else ever looked a winner. GO LADY JAY continued confidently, and crossed the wire 1 1/4 lengths clear of FLIN FLON. it was another length back to MISSALANEY, who closed for third, a length and a half clear of DUNDALK BAY. SILVER LODE, CRUSADER GIRL TOO, PARTAY, LAKOTA ROSE, and PURA LICA completed the order of finish. PEARL OF SILK was a trainer’s scratch.
GO LADY JAY is a three-year-old daughter of Run Away and Hide out of the Include mare Military Mama. Bred in Illinois by John Truscott Racing and Run Away and Hide Syndicate, Truscott campaigns her as a homebred. She is trained by Bradlee Rainwater, and was ridden by Jesse Lantz; both of whom won the Purple Violet for the first time in their careers today. The Purple Violet was GO LADY JAY’s first stakes victory; she had tried stakes company once before in the Dixie Belle S. at Oaklawn on January 15, but came home fifth behind 2015 Arlington-Washington Lassie winner Marquee Miss. Today’s win was GO LADY JAY’s fourth overall, with all three of her previous victories having come across town at Hawthorne. The $31,450 winner’s share of the purse brought her lifetime earnings to $87,642.
Though today’s race was his filly’s first time on polytrack, trainer Bradlee Rainwater was confident that GO LADY JAY could handle it. “She breezed pretty good over it, and I thought she was going to run well on it.” He had also thought she would take well to the one-turn mile, though he thinks she could get longer than that. Rainwater indicated that he had no future races or targets yet identified for GO LADY JAY.
At the beginning of the race, there was a brief nervous moment when confirmed frontrunner GO LADY JAY hopped at the start. Recalled rider Jesse Lantz, who has ridden GO LADY JAY in all ten of her races, “She’s always a little antsy, but she had never hopped like that. So, I thought, ‘I’ve got to go!’, so I hustled her as fast as I could to get up there to the lead.” He had few worries once he got her to the front, however. “I knew when she got the lead, she would just come back to me and do whatever I wanted her to.” Even after rushing to the lead early, Lantz had no worries about her ability to finish well. “I had so much horse I could have went around another time. She’s one of my favourites. She has a lot of heart.”
GO LADY JAY stopped the clock in 1:37.78 for the one-turn mile over the polytrack, and paid her backers $11.60 to win. The $1 exacta with FLIN FLON in second (9-2) paid $38.30. A trifecta with MISSALANEY in third (9-2-7) returned $62.05 for each $0.50 wagered on the combination. The superfecta with DUNDALK BAY in the lowest rung (9-2-7-1) came back with $173.78 for a dime.
Trainer Wayne Catalano scratched PEARL OF SILK from the Purple Violet. She instead contested an Illinois-bred maiden special weight sprint earlier in the day, a race Wayaway won in frontrunning fashion. PEARL OF SILK, the 4/5 favourite, pulled up near the five-eighths pole and was vanned off. She sustained a compound fracture to her left front leg, and was euthanized. It was the first catastrophic injury in a race during the current Arlington meet.
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