Harvey’s Lil Goil showed no ill effects Sunday from a slow break and wide trip in Aqueduct’s $100,000 Busanda Stakes.
The talented American Pharoah filly recovered and cruised by seven lengths in her first stop on the 2020 Kentucky Oaks trail.
Harvey’s Lil Goil went off as the favorite of six in the Busanda, which runs at the same 1 1/8-mile distance as the Kentucky Oaks. She came out of post No. 6 a step slow and was stuck on the far outside while Fiftyshays Ofgreen set fractions of :25.30 and :50.39.
Jockey Junior Alvarado moved Harvey’s Lil Goil forward in the far turn, where she sailed by the pace setter. The Bill Mott trainee then accelerated from the field, opening up to a seven-length victory that returned $3.50.
"I didn't want to fight with her to make her stand properly, but then she hopped at the break a little bit," Alvarado said. "In a stakes race, that's not what you want, but she was much the best, so it didn't matter."
Harvey’s Lil Goil covered the nine furlongs in 1:54.49. Water White finished second for the Rudy Rodriguez barn, with Fiftyshays Ofgreen staying up for third.
"She ran really well and to expectations, or possibly even better," said Leanna Willaford, assistant to Mott. "She came back up to us from Florida last week and has been here for a few days. She had been here prior from July until when she broke her maiden (Dec. 12), so we know her well. She looks really about the same since she's left and is progressing well, so it's exciting."
The Estate of Harvey Clarke and Paul Braverman campaign Harvey’s Lil Goil. She sports a 3:2-0-0 ledger, with all her starts coming at Aqueduct.
Sunday’s win earned Harvey’s Lil Goil 10 points toward the Road to the 2020 Kentucky Oaks points standings. If she stays local, Aqueduct hosts the $250,000 Busher Invitational, which pays 50 qualifying points to its winner, on March 7.