J A G Racing and Jettany Thoroughbred Corp.’s Lucy N Ethel turned Saturday’s $100,000 Old Hat (G3) at Gulfstream Park into a laugher with a no-nonsense 3 ¾-length victory.
The 4-5 favorite in a field of six 3-year-old fillies made the lead on the backstretch while stalked to her inside by Dad’s Kiddo and to her outside by My Dear Venezuela, before pulling away with authority under a confident Joshua Navarro.
“She ran how we expected,” Trainer Ramon Preciado said. “I think the next time she’s going to be even better.”
The homebred daughter of During ran her career record to 3-for-3 by running six-furlongs in 1:10.03. In her two previous starts at Parx Racing, she won her debut by a length before capturing a first-level allowance race by 13 ¼ lengths.
“I had to use here a little bit the first part to get the early lead. As soon as they got to me at the 3/8-pole, she gave me another gear and kept going,” Navarro said. “I was worried. I was thinking she wins the first two times in Philly, but Philly and here is way different. So if she wins today, she proves she belongs, and she did it today.”
After watching Lucy N Ethel pull away to a convincing victory off just one workout since shipping from Parx, Preciado expects an even more impressive race next out.
“I don’t know (how good she can be). She could be better than we thought,” said Preciado, the leading trainer at Parx in 2015 who has 10 horses stabled at Gulfstream Park. “At the beginning we thought she was a nice filly. Her first race, she impressed up a little bit, but in her second race, she really exploded. This race she was better, and the next time she’s going to be better.”
Preciado confirmed that the seven-furlong $200,000 Forward Gal (G2) at Gulfstream Jan. 20 is the next target for Lucy N Ethel.
The Pennsylvania-bred filly entered Preciado’s stable with optimism for her future.
“I had at one point, I had two sisters and a brother, and they all could run. I think her brother (Jake N Elwood) and her are the best,” said Preciado, who campaign Jake N Elwood through a multiple-stakes winning career that generated nearly $450,000 in earnings.
My Dear Venezuela, a 20-1 long shot ridden by Emisael Jaramillo) finished second, 2 ½ lengths ahead of Ballet Diva, the 2-1 second choice ridden by Jose Caraballo.
Source: Gulfstream Park