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2023 De La Rose Stakes Preview | Evvie Jets Goes For 2nd Straight Win In Wednesday Feature At Saratoga
Evvie Jets (NYRA)

2023 De La Rose Stakes Preview | Evvie Jets Goes For 2nd Straight Win In Wednesday Feature At Saratoga

The Estate of Robert J. Amendola’s Evvie Jets looks to continue her recent stakes success in Wednesday’s 20th running of the $135,000 De La Rose at Saratoga Race Course, a one mile inner turf test for older fillies and mares that have not won a graded stakes in 2023.

The De La Rose is slated as Race 8 on Wednesday’s 10-race card which also features the Jonathan Kiser Novice, a 2 1/16-mile steeplechase event for older horses in Race 1. First post is 1:10 p.m. Eastern.   

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Trained by Mertkan Kantarmaci, Evvie Jets found redemption from a distant sixth-place finish in the 1 1/16-mile Grade 3 Beaugay in May at Belmont Park by posting a wire-to-wire half-length score last out on July 2 in the Perfect Sting, going one-mile over the Widener turf for older fillies and mares.

Piloted by Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, the mare broke sharply and was immediately taken to the front. Despite setting fast early fractions of 23.36 seconds and 46.77, Evvie Jets had the energy to dig in and hold off three strong Chad Brown-trained runners that included returning rivals Technical Analysis [2nd], a multiple graded stakes winner, and Haughty [3rd], winner of last year’s Grade 2 Lake Placid here. The game score earned a career-best 95 Beyer Speed Figure.

Kantarmaci said he was expecting a big effort last out from Evvie Jets, who has posted five of her six wins traveling one mile over turf.

“That performance was what we expected – like an echo – she made it in her right distance: one mile,” said Kantarmaci. “We knew the previous race [Beaugay] she came back too soon, made a hot pace and took on all the pressure, but gave up at the end in the last sixteenth. Last time, we saw the good rivals – Chad Brown’s horses that are all top competition for us – but we knew she was going to run good. Especially, when she didn’t take the whole pressure right from the gate. She just made the right move in the right spot to set the pace.”

Evvie Jets has won her last three starts going one-mile, including the Plenty of Grace in April at Aqueduct Racetrack where she bested Whitebeam, who exited that effort to win the Grade 3 Gallorette in May at Pimlico Race Course and the nine-furlong Grade 1 Diana on July 15 here.

“I think this distance is the right choice for now. She can do longer too, but it would have to be a very tactical race,” Kantarmaci said. “I don’t know if she can ever do the mile and an eighth on the lead, which is why we waited for the mile.”

The 5-year-old Twirling Candy mare has run twice over the Saratoga turf, breaking her maiden in July 2021 and placing second in an allowance last summer. Since arriving from Belmont, Evvie Jets has worked twice over the Saratoga main track, including a half-mile breeze in 51 flat on July 24.

Bred in Kentucky by Farfellow Farms, Evvie Jets was a $75,000 purchase at the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale and was haltered by her current connections for $80,000 out of a runner-up effort in September 2021 at Belmont.

Castellano retains the mount from post 2 aboard Evvie Jets, who carries a co-field high 124 pounds.

Chad Brown sends out a trio of top contenders in Technical Analysis [post 5, Jose Ortiz, 124 pounds], Haughty [post 4, Irad Ortiz, Jr., 124 pounds] and multiple graded stakes-placed Eminent Victor [post 3, Flavien Prat, 120 pounds].

Klaravich Stables’ Technical Analysis sports a record of 4-3-1-0 over the Spa turf led by wins in 2021 in the Grade 2 Lake Placid and Grade 3 Lake George along with last year’s Grade 2 Ballston Spa.

The 5-year-old Kingman mare made her seasonal debut in the Perfect Sting from a nearly nine-month layoff out of a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 First Lady on October 8 at Keeneland.

Bradley Thoroughbreds, Belmar Racing and Breeding, Cambron Equine and Team Hanley’s Haughty, a 4-year-old Empire Maker bay, made the grade in gate-to-wire fashion in last year’s Lake Placid in her lone Spa start.

The lightly-raced Haughty finished third in the 2021 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar.

Michael Dubb, The Elkstone Group, Louis Lazzinnaro and Michael J. Caruso’s Eminent Victor, a 4-year-old Mr. Z chestnut, earned a Grade 1-placing with a rallying third-place finish in the one-turn mile Natalma in September 2021 at Woodbine.

Eminent Victor narrowly missed in the Grade 3 Lake George here last summer when a nose back of stablemate Dolce Zel and enters from a distant fifth-place finish in the Grade 2 Nassau on July 1 over yielding Woodbine turf.

Augustin Stables’ Kentucky homebred Regal Realm [post 6, Florent Geroux, 122 pounds], trained by Jonathan Thomas, is 3-for-3 this year with wins in Canterbury Park’s Lady Canterbury in June and allowance scores at Belmont and Gulfstream Park, in May and February, respectively.

Regal Realm debuted at age three, finding the winner’s circle second time out in a Delaware Park maiden tilt, then not again that season in five tries.

Thomas said the 4-year-old Animal Kingdom chestnut has improved with age.

“She’s always been a filly that looked like she would benefit from some time to grow into her body,” Thomas explained. “She’s a big mature filly right now, and she’s put together a good string of races.”

Regal Realm has done everything right as a 4-year-old. She has flown home clear of rivals at one mile, seven furlongs, and 7 1/2-furlongs, earning a career-best 91 Beyer in May at Belmont.

In the De La Rose, she returns to one mile, the distance of her last out score in the Lady Canterbury. 

“I think that’s probably her ideal distance, between seven furlongs and a mile,” said Thomas.

Lawrence Goichman’s multiple graded-stakes placed New York-homebred Runaway Rumour [post 7, Manny Franco, 118 pounds] has hit the board in her first two starts since joining forces with conditioner Horacio De Paz this spring.

The 5-year-old Flintshire mare made both starts against fellow state-breds over the Belmont turf, including a third place finish last out on July 4 in the 1 1/16-mile Port Washington over yielding going where she went off as a 1-5 mutuel favorite.

Runaway Rumour made her debut for De Paz in the one-mile Mount Vernon on May 29, where she was nailed at the wire by Marvelous Maude to miss by a nose. Likewise, she’s been ultra-competitive in the majority of her starts, posting an 18-4-4-4 record that featured a three-race win streak to begin her career, and she’s only run versus stakes company since.

Rounding out field is the Gainesway Stable’s Kentucky homebred White Frost [post 1, Junior Alvarado, 118 pounds], who captured the 2021 Grade 3 Sweetest Chant and enters from four-straight placings in stakes events. Chi Town Lady, Sunset Louise and Movie Moxy are entered for the main-track only.