Pedigree Spotlight: Joyful Victory and R Heat Lightning

Zipse’s Kentucky Derby Daily – Day 19

Pedigree Spotlight written by Scott Dick

In honor of the beautiful ladies in the sport of horse racing, I will be changing gears this week by turning my attention to a couple of the best 3-year-old fillies in the nation and two of the most likely winners of this year’s Kentucky Oaks.

The precocious Joyful Victory started her career in the hands of trainer Anthony Dutrow. The gorgeous silky gray broke her maiden at first asking, routing at Delaware Park. She made an impressive move to take the Maiden Special Weight by a neck. Her connections were so thrilled with her first race they threw her in the grade I Frizette Stakes at Belmont Park. She was defeated just 5 lengths by the winner A.P. Warrior and just 3 and ½ lengths behind 2nd place finisher and Kentucky Oaks hopeful R Heat Lightning. She went on to run a respectable 5th in the Breeder's Cup Juvenile Fillies, behind 2-year-old Champion Filly Awesome Feather.

Joyful Victory was moved to the barn of Larry Jones for her 3-year-old season. She's been nothing but impressive in 2 starts as a sophomore. She buried her foes in the grade III Honey Bee Stakes at Oaklawn Park, winning by some 9 lengths. Following that impressive performance she would face a challenge in the Fantasy Stakes, it would be in the form of Arienza, daughter of Champion Azeri. The Victorious filly sat right behind Arienza from the word go, and when Arienza made her move for the lead at the ¼ pole, Joyful Victory moved with her and ran right by her, going on to win by a stylish 7 lengths.

The sire of Joyful Victory is Tapit. Tapit was brilliant in his short 6 race career, winning the grade III Laurel Futurity and the grade I Wood Memorial. Tapit went on to run in the Derby, where he didn't take to the sloppy track and ran 9th. He finished his career with over $550,000 in earnings. In a short time in the breeding shed, Tapit has been remarkable. The female progeny of Tapit have done amazing things on the race track. He is the sire of the filly Careless Jewel. Careless Jewel won 5 of 7 races. She won the grade I Alabama Stakes at the 10 furlong distance at Saratoga, she also won the grade II Delaware Oaks.

Tapit also sired a “Star,” in the filly Stardom Bound. A phenom at two, she broke her maiden in the grade I Delmar Debutante Stakes. She followed that win up with another grade I victory in the Oakleaf Breeder's Cup Stakes. She went on to win the grade I Breeder's Cup Juvenile Fillies, and was eventually named 2-year-old Champion Filly. Tapit is also the sire of Kentucky Oaks hopeful Zazu. Zazu won the grade I Las Virgenes Stakes. Tapit has also sired graded stakes winners in - Testa Matta, Tell A Kelly, Tapitsfly, Laragh, Hightap, Dancinginherdreams (Oaks Hopeful), and Concorde Point.

The Dam of Tapit is Tap Your Heels. Tap Your Heels won just 1 race in 9 career starts. She has been a very productive broodmare. She is the dam of 3 winners, including Overandabeauty. Overandabeauty was a sprinter who won 3 races in 15 starts with earnings over a $158,000.

The dam of Joyful Victory is Wild Lucy Black. Wild Lucy Black won 1 race in 7 starts. She broke her maiden at Keeneland, running at the 1 mile and 1/16th distance. As a broodmare she has produced 4 winners, including - Wild Lucy Dancer. Wild Lucy Dancer won 2 races, 1 win going around 2 turns and the other at the 7 furlong distance. She earned $129,000 in purse money.

The sire of Wild Lucy Black is Wild Again. Wild Again was a top race horse, he won the grade I Suburban Handicap, the grade I Meadowland Cup Handicap, the grade II Oaklawn handicap and the grade II New Orleans Handicap, but he is best known for winning the inaugural Breeder's Cup Classic, lighting up the tote board at odds of 31-1. Wild Again was a very useful sire. He is the sire of the filly Shine Again. Shine Again won 14 times in 34 starts with graded stakes wins in – Ballerina Handicap (GI) (twice), First Flight Stakes (GII) (twice), Genuine Risk Handicap (GII). Wild Again also sired Milwaukee Brew. The Canadian twice won the prestigious Big Cap. He also won the grade II Ohio Derby and the grade II Marline Stakes.

The dam of Wild Lucy Black is Lucy Black. Lucy Black was winless in 4 career starts. As a broodmare she produced 4 winners, including Fine Impression. Fine Impression won 5 races in 35 career starts and boast earnings exceeding $230,000.

Joyful Victory has been simply spectacular in her 2 starts this season. She is regal in appearance and the perfect example of a beautiful filly. The way she romped through the 3-year-old filly stakes at Oaklawn, was Rachel Alexandra like. I have nothing but good things to say about this filly, her sires proven to put out great fillies and fillies that can run a distance of ground. Her dam was able to go around 2 turns and her progeny has also been able to do the same. I see more good things coming for this spectacular filly, I really do believe we're in for a treat come Kentucky Oaks Day. She will be my selection.

You hear the sound of thunder and you wait for the spark of “Lightning”. R Heat Lightning has sparked up plenty of praise so far in her career. She has been ultra- consistent, boasting a record of 4 wins in 8 starts with 3 second place finishes. As a juvenile the Todd Pletcher trainee was no worse than 2nd in 5 starts. She won the grade I Spinaway Stakes at 7 Furlongs, and also ran extremely well in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, finishing 2nd to the unbeaten champion Awesome Feather. R Heat Lightning started her 3-year-old season with a mediocre 4th in the grade II Forward Gal Stakes. She put away any doubts about her talent in the grade II Davona Dale Handicap, crushing by over 7 lengths. She followed that win up with another eye popping performance, this one coming in the grade II Gulfstream Oaks. She scored in the easiest of manner, under a hand ride of jockey John Velazquez, The Lightning struck with a dominating 8 ¼ length victory.

The sire of R Heat Lightning is Trippi. The son of End Sweep was a dynamite sprinter, winning several graded stakes, including the grade II Tom Fool Handicap, grade II Riva Ridge Stakes, and the grade III Swale Stakes. He finished his career with over $666,000 in purse money. Trippi has been a solid and steady sire. He is the sire of numerous stakes winners, including Jamaican Champion Psychedelic. Psychedelic has won over $792,000 in his career. He is also the sire of top sophomore colt, Gourmet Dinner. Gourmet Dinner won the grade III Delta Jackpot Million stakes.

The dam of Trippi is Jealous Appeal. Jealous Appeal won 4 times in 18 career starts, earning just over $80,000. As a broodmare she has been excellent, producing 7 winners. She is the dam of the colt Appealing Skier. Appealing Skier won 8 races in 26 starts. He won the grade II Kentucky Cup Sprint, setting a track record. He also won the grade II Withers and the grade II Hutcheson Stakes.

The dam of R Heat Lightning is Yellow Heat. Yellow Heat won 3 of her 5 career starts, all of the wins came sprinting. As a broodmare she has produced 2 foals to race, R Heat Lightning and the filly Hot Trip. Hot Trip has won 2 races in her career. A 1 turn mile victory and a 2 turn 1 1/16th mile victory.

The sire of Yellow Heat is Gold Fever. Gold Fever won 7 times in 18 starts. He won the grade I NYRA Mile, the grade II Riva Ridge, and the grade III Discovery Handicap. As a sire Gold Fever has been useful. He is the sire of Gold Mover. Gold Mover won several graded stakes including - grade II Schuylerville Stakes and the grade II Princess Rooney Stakes.
Golden Fever also sired 2004 3-year-old Canadian Champion and 2004 Horse of the Year, A Bit O’Gold. A Bit O’Gold won the Queen’s Plate Trial Stakes, the Ontario Derby, Prince Of Wales Stakes, Breeders' Stakes, and Dominion Day Handicap.

The dam of Yellow Heat is The Real Thing. The Real Thing was unplaced in 1 career start. As a broodmare she has produced 6 winners, including the filly, East Breaks. East Breaks won 7 times in 23 starts boasting earnings over $238,000.

R Heat Lightning has been sizzling so far in her career. When the thunder comes the lightning follows and R Heat Lightning has been striking with some serious performances. Her pedigree definitely suggests sprint, but so far in her career she has been able to stretch her speed out. My mind tells me, with this pedigree, she j may well struggle in the final 1/8th against the best when she needs it to win the Kentucky Oaks, but my eyes and my heart are telling me she could be a super filly. Time will tell us how good she truly is.

Meet Brian Zipse

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, American Pharoah and Justify. Before coming to HRN, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. His racing partnership venture, Derby Day Racing, invites more fans to experience the thrill of racehorse ownership.

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, created the popular racing webcast HorseCenter, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as hosting HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves on the Board of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars and is a Vox Populi committee member. He is a voter for racing's Hall of Fame, as well as a weekly NTRA poll voter. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.

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