LOUISVILLE, KY – G. Watts Humphrey, Jr.’s homebred Romantic Vision was a lovely sight for her connections, riding the rail to her first career graded stakes victory in Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Locust Grove at Churchill Downs.
Tucked down low in fourth after breaking from post 4 under jockey Brian Hernandez, Jr., Romantic Vision watched as Brooklynsway set early fractions of :24.22 and :48.93. Remaining on the rail entering the lane, Romantic Vision took command in the stretch from Blue Prize and drew clear in the final stages to complete the 1 1/16-mile main track event in 1:43.91.
“We just got a dream trip behind the speed,” said Hernandez, Jr. “When the rail opened up she just responded perfectly and ran on well.”
The Rusty Arnold-trained 5-year-old mare crossed 1 1/4 lengths in front of Blue Prize. Tiger Moth was able to get up late for third by a neck over Mo d’Amour. Fuhriously Kissed, Sweetgrass, and Brooklysnway completed the order of finish.
The win improved Romantic Vision’s record to 18-5-4-2 with career earnings of $310,086. Her previous best graded stakes race was a second-place effort in the Grade 1 La Troienne, also here at Churchill Downs.
“Brian gets along with her so well and it really showed today,” Arnold said. “He gave her a great trip up the rail and we really couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
Romantic Vision returned $23.60 to win, $8.80 to place, and $5.40 to show. Blue Prize brought back $3.40 to place and $2.60 to show, while Tiger Moth paid $2.60 to show.