ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL – Agave Racing Stable’s Fault found just enough speed late to charge forward and upset Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Pucker Up by a neck.
Jockey Miguel Mena saved ground aboard Fault and sat her midpack for the trip down the back. Meanwhile, Royalty Princess led the field of a dozen 3-year-old fillies through splits of :22.99, :49.04, and 1:13.80 before the field caught her.
Swinging three-wide onto the front stretch, Journey Home put her head in front and looked to be on her way to victory, but Fault put in a late rally and ended that idea just before the finish line, crossing in a final time of 1:50.08 for the 1 1/8-mile turf race.
“She’s just maturing and she keeps getting better,” said trainer Michelle Lovell, a former jockey who earned her first graded stakes win since taking out a training license in 2003. “We’ll take it one step at a time from here.”
Journey Home finished in second, 2 3/4 lengths ahead of Lovely Bernadette. It was a neck back to Canny, who was followed in order by Princess La Quinta, Dontmesswithjoanne, Sensitive, Lipstick City, Happy Mesa, Katinka, Mo’s MVP, and Royalty Princess.
Fault returned $26.40 to win, $10.60 to place, and $7.20 to show. Journey Home brought back $5 to place and $3.60 to show, while Lovely Bernadette paid $4.60 to show.