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Jouster Easy Winner of Appalachian
Credit: Keeneland Photo

Jouster Easy Winner of Appalachian

LEXINGTON, KY – Left alone on the lead early, trainer Todd Pletcher’s speedy Jouster proved an easy gate-to-wire winner of Saturday’s $200,000 Appalachian Stakes Presented by Japan Racing Association (G2) at Keeneland.

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Jouster broke alertly from the rail under Luis Saez as the 8/5 favorite and was given an lengthy advantage through opening fractions of :24.82, :49.87, and 1:14.29.

Rounding the far turn with plenty still left in the tank, Jouster was ridden out across the wire, crossing 1 1/2 lengths clear while stopping the clock for the good turf mile route in 1:36.83.

Credit: Keeneland Photo

“She was so professional today; she broke from there so sharp,” Saez said. “”We just tried to relax and she did it so perfect. She came into the stretch and I had so much horse so I was just letting her be happy and we came to the end she just took off. She’s good.”

The short field of six 3-year-old fillies ran a carousel-style race, with stalkers Gift List and Plum Ali separated by a 1/2-length for second and third, respectively. Saranya, Flown, and Spanish Loveaffair completed the order of finish.

Jouster’s win was her first at the stakes level and followed a nose defeat in the Florida Oaks (G3) last time out and improved her record to 6-3-2-0 with $214,920 earned for Starlight Racing, who bought the daughter of Noble Mission for $360,000 as a yearling.

“These last few days on this turf, the speed hasn’t been holding, which is what I was concerned about,” said Jack Wolf of Starlight Racing. “Luis said before the race that he was going to try to get her to relax. The fractions you saw were perfect.”

Jouster returned $5.40 to win, $3.60 to place, and $2.80 to show. Gift List brought back $6.40 to place and $4.40 to show. Plum Ali paid $3 to show.

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