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My Jen Surprises in Gallant Bloom

My Jen rallied through the stretch to edge Moontune Missy in the final strides and gain her first graded stakes victory in the 17th running of the Grade 2, $150,000 Gallant Bloom Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park.

 

Under jockey Julien Leparoux, My Jen settled in mid-pack as favored Rapport led through fractions of 22.85 and 46.16. Moving up approaching the quarter-pole, the 3-year-old daughter of Fusaichi Pegasus was asked for run once clear and took off as they straightened for home, steadily gaining on the front runners and getting up to win by a head.

 

My Jen hit the wire in 1:17.13 for the 6 ½ furlongs over the fast track, returning $26.60 to her backers for a $2 wager as the 12-1 fifth betting choice in the field of eight. Sara Louise was third, with favored Rapport finishing sixth.

 

“Around the turn, she started to go backwards, and I was a little worried about that, but she has a big heart,” said Leparoux. “I was confident that she would give me a good run and she did.”

 

The Gallant Bloom was My Jen’s second race following a seven-month layoff, having finished second to Rapport in the Grade 3 Victory Ride at Saratoga Race Course August 28.

 

“That was a big effort that day, and we knew she’d benefit from that and move forward for today’s race, which she did,” said winning trainer Eddie Kenneally.

 

The win was the first of the year for My Jen, following a 3-for-3 campaign in 2009. She improved her lifetime record to 4-1-0 from six starts, and nearly doubled her career earnings to $191,000 for her owner, Windmill Manor Farm.

 

The front-running Rapport, sent off at 9-5, “never felt comfortable” according to her rider Martin Garcia.

 

“She just didn’t respond like I was waiting for,” he said.

 

The victory gave My Jen an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Churchill Downs on November 5 as part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” series.

 

“We’ll see – it’s a 3-year-old filly running against older horses, but she did it today,” said Kenneally, who also trains Filly & Mare Sprint hopeful Warbling. “Who knows? Maybe they’ll both run.”

 

 

 

 

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