John Wieczorek’s Instant Style, unhurried early, rallied boldly when set down for the drive and was up to best Fox Hill Farm’s favored
Joyful Victory by
three-quarters of a length in Wednesday’s $53,000 Fair Grounds feature,
an allowance optional $62,500 claiming event for fillies and mares at
about one mile over the
Stall-Wilson turf course.
The winner, trained by
Bobby Springer and ridden by James Graham,
paid $21.40, $6.40 and $3.40, toured the distance over firm going in
1:40.99 and increased her career earnings to $154,410 with
her fourth lifetime win in 28 career starts.
Joyful Victory, favored in last year’s
Grade I Kentucky Oaks after winning Oaklawn’s
Grade II Fantasy and Grade III Honeybee Stakes, was always well placed, could not withstand the winner late but courageously gained the place by a head over Hal Snowden
Jr.’s Bet On the Blue.
Making her turf debut and away from competition since the
Grade I Coaching Club Oaks at Saratoga July 23, Joyful Victory returned $2.80 and $2.20, while Bet On the Blue paid $2.60 to show.
Bobby Joe Hammer’s
Miss Heather Lee made the pace with splits of 26.46 and 52.07 before tiring to fifth.
Racing resumes Thursday at Fair Grounds with a 10-race program beginning at 12:40 p.m.