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No Ladies' Classic for Joyful Victory

A good runner-up finish by Joyful Victory in the Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes on Saturday at Santa Anita was not quite good enough. Trainer Larry Jones, after consulting with owner Rick Porter, said Tuesday that Joyful Victory would not run in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic and instead return to Kentucky.

“We took our best shot, and the water is just going to get deeper,” Jones said. “Royal Delta is coming in, Love and Pride and Questing are the real deal, My Miss Aurelia … it’s a deep pool to be swimming in.”

Joyful Victory finished 3 1/4 lengths behind Zenyatta winner Love and Pride, and a half-length in front of third place Include Me Out while carrying five pounds less than those two. In the Breeders’ Cup, Joyful Victory would carry equal weight and her odds would likely have been 20-1 or higher. The likely favorite is Royal Delta.

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