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Buster's Ready Sharp in Mother Goose

Buster's Ready and John Velazquez win the 55th running of the Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes for 3 year old fillies, at 1 1/16 mile. Trainer Todd Pletcher. Owner The Estate of Edward P. Evans
Buster's Ready made her Grade 1 debut a winning one Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park, drawing away to a convincing victory in the 55th renewal of the $250,000 Mother Goose.

Forwardly placed out of the gate, Buster's Ready pressed Salty Strike through opening fractions of 23.55 and 47.03. Flanked by Salty Strike to her inside and stablemate R Gypsy Gold on the outside after three-quarters in 1:11.52, Buster's Ready shook clear of that pair and the late-running favorite, Joyful Victory, to prevail by 4 ¼ lengths.

Her final time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1:42.44 and she returned $9.40 as the 7-2 second choice.

"She's been steadily improving all winter and spring and she's a filly we always felt wanted more distance," said trainer Todd Pletcher, who picked up his fourth career Mother Goose win and second in two years. "Her last race [in the Black-Eyed Susan] was sort of a breakthrough race for her and she's kind of finding her rhythm now. She's putting it all together and [it's helped] being able to steadily get some route races."

Buster's Ready, a daughter of More Than Ready, entered the Mother Goose off a runner-up effort in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico on May 20. She had raced at Aqueduct last fall and over the winter, breaking her maiden for a $50,000 tag on November 18 and, in her next start, finishing second to eventual Grade 1 winner It's Tricky in an optional claimer on January 26. In her only stakes effort prior to the Black-Eyed Susan, Buster's Ready finished third in the Out Ruled overnight stakes over the inner track on March 13.

"She ran huge," said winning jockey John Velazquez. "I didn't think I was going to be on the lead, that's for sure. We were planning that I was going to be second or third. But she was doing it so comfortably. She was running the last part!"

Joyful Victory got up by a neck to grab second over longshot R Gypsy Gold, whom Pletcher also trains.

"Turning for home I had to angle out to get a clear run, but just didn't have enough horse," said Ramon Dominguez, Joyful Victory's rider.

With the winner's purse of $150,000, Buster's Ready has now earned $290,084 for the Estate of Edward P. Evans, and compiled a record of 4-2-1 from nine career starts. Pletcher said he would consider the Grade 1 TVG Coaching Club American Oaks, 1 1/8 miles at Saratoga Race Course on July 23, for the filly's next start.

Salty Strike faded to fourth and My Assets completed the order of finish. Alseera, who bolted to the outside shortly after the start, was eased and escorted off the track by a pony.



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