sat patiently in midpack under Mike Smith before eating up ground on the outside and swooping past her rivals to romp by almost nine lengths in Saturday's Honeybee (G3) at Oaklawn Park.
Michael Baze was intent on the lead aboard Rigoletta and she set swift splits of :22.67 and :45.91. The California invader was spent and Joyful Victory swept to the front after six furlongs in 1:11.28.
The winner, trained by Larry Jones for Fox Hill Farms, was ridden out to win by 8-3/4 lengths in 1:44.83. She paid $5 to win as the betting favorite.
Martha Washington winner Holy Heavens rallied to be clearly second best with returning stalker Dixie City another three lengths back in 3rd. Salty Strike completed the superfecta and was followed by Jazzin' Okie, Rigoletta, and Norma's Dream. Summer Soiree and Hearts On Fire scratched.
Joyful Victory showed promise from the start with a debut maiden route win from post twelve at Delaware Park last summer. She finished 3rd in the Frizette (G1) second time out and completed her juvenile campaign with a 5th place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). The talented daughter of Tapit was trained by Tony Dutrow in 2010 and moved to the Larry Jones shedrow when he came out of retirement.
The 2011 Honeybee winner is part of the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager and is currently 17-1, down from her 20-1 morning line price. She could make her next start in the Fantasy (G2) at Oaklawn Park on April 10.