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Breeders Cup 2015

Jones Still Fancies Joyful Victory

Joyful Victory romps in the Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn

Joyful Victory's body of work on the racetrack would stack up well in any stable: an 11-4-2-2 record for earnings of $555,068 and two graded stakes victories.


But then Joyful Victory is not in just any barn … her stablemate is reigning Horse of the Year Havre de Grace, who, like Joyful Victory, is owned by Fox Hill Farms.


“We know that she is not Havre de Grace,” trainer Larry Jones said. “In this barn, expectations get pretty high, but we are not discouraged with her. We have a lot of hope for her.”


Joyful Victory tipped her hand early last year when she won the Honeybee (G3) by 8¾ lengths and the Fantasy (G2) by seven lengths at Oaklawn Park. Off those efforts, the Tapit filly went off as the favorite in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and finished fourth behind Plum Pretty.


After the Oaks, Joyful Victory finished second in the Mother Goose (G1) at Belmont Park and then fifth in the Coaching Club of America Oaks (G1) at Saratoga in which she came out of the race with a chip in a knee.


“Things did not go her way in the Mother Goose and then she got hurt at Saratoga,” said Jones, who put Joyful Victory back into light training here last fall.


After nearly six months off, Joyful Victory ran second in a turf allowance at Fair Grounds, won the Tiffany Lass on the main track and ran third in the Azeri (G3) at Oaklawn, all under Robby Albarado, who will be in the saddle Friday when she goes postward in the Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare (G3).


“In her first race back on the turf, the pace was too slow early,” Jones said. “Then she won that little stake and she got a little tired in the Azeri. I shipped up to Oaklawn only once, but I watched a lot of races and it looked like they all needed a race over the track.”


Joyful Victory has had two works over the main track here as she prepares for her racing debut on Polytrack.


“She has never been on the Poly and we are kind of experimenting with her to see what kind of options we have for her the rest of the year,” Jones said. “Robby has been on her a lot and knows her well and it seems like the whole team has been together with her for awhile now.”



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