OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Miss Sky Warrior set the pace and outkicked a hard-charging Jamyson ‘n Ginger in deep stretch to win her second consecutive graded stakes race in taking the 95th running of the Grade 2, $300,000 Demoiselle for juvenile fillies on Saturday, Cigar Mile Day, at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Owned by Arlen’s Sun Star Stable, Miss Sky Warrior won by a half-length for her third consecutive victory since finishing fourth in her debut on September 11. By winning the Demoiselle, the Kelly Breen trainee earned 10 points as part of the 2017 Road to the Kentucky Oaks.
Trainer Rudy Rodriguez’s trio of entries finished second, third, and fourth, respectively, with Jamyson ‘n Ginger earning four points as the runner up, Bonita Bianca garnering two points for third and Libby’s Tail, who earned four points for running second in the Grade 1 Frizette last out on October 8 at Belmont Park, earned an additional point to bring her total to five in finishing fourth.
Jockey Paco Lopez piloted Miss Sky Warrior through early fractions of 23.65 for a quarter-mile, 48.82 for a half and 1:14.72 for three-quarters. Out of the turn, Miss Sky Warrior stayed near the rail and fended off Jamyson ‘n Ginger’s challenge from the outside to hit the wire in 1:53.34 at 1 1/18 miles on the fast main track.
“When the gates opened, it laid out a little different. I made the lead briefly going into the first turn and heading into the second quarter, we were going a bit slow, but I thought she was in a perfect position,” said Lopez, who also won on Verve’s Tale in the Grade 3 Comely earlier on the card. “I just waited. I knew she was a nice filly from when she ran at Belmont Park. Heading to the sixteenth-pole I thought we could get to the No. 4 horse [Jamyson ‘n Ginger]. She’s a nice filly.”
Off at 5-1, Miss Sky Warrior, who won the Grade 3 Tempted last out on November 5 at the Big A, paid $13.20 on a $2 win wager. She improved her career earnings to $348,750.
“Two turns was key for her, as opposed to the one-turn mile last time, where she had a right to get tired,” Breen said. “After this, we’re going to give her some R&R and hope to have her back at Gulfstream Park in February. She’s a game filly. If I have a thought in the back of my head of trying to get her to the Kentucky Oaks, I’ll start mapping it out. It would be great to go with a horse that’s legit.”
Jamyson ‘n Ginger, who was coming off a quick turnaround following a fifth-place finish in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies on November 5, rallied from sixth at the half-mile to finish in the money for the first time against stakes competition.
“I got a perfect trip,” jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. said. “She was coming back on short rest, she flew back from the Breeders’ Cup and it might be a little quick for her. They’re fillies and she’s a little filly, but no excuses. She just got beat. She ran hard.”
Bonita Bianca, who won her first two career starts, came in third in her first graded stakes start.
“They all ran good. We can’t complain,” Rodriguez said. “They ran their races. You could say that Jamyson ‘n Ginger maybe was a little tired from her last race and shipping across the country and back. She had two races back-to-back while shipping back and forth. But she still ran good. We took a chance with her today and she didn’t embarrass herself. She ran a good second. We have to give all of the credit to the winner; she put everybody else away.”
Majestic Bonnie, Elandess, Romantic Music, Spirituality and Ladies Day completed the order of finish.