Sweet Victory wins the Penn Oaks
Sweet Victory wins the Penn Oaks. Photo by The Racing Biz.
by Frank Vespe
In a race marred by the spill of Conquest Serenade, Sweet Victory stalked the pace before surging to a 1 1/2 length victory in this evening’s $200,000 Penn Oaks, the first race on Penn National’s Penn Mile Card.
Both Conquest Serenade and rider Florent Geroux got up and walked off following the spill, neither appearing worse for the wear.
Sweet Victory, a three-year-old daughter of Blame, recorded her second consecutive stakes win. The Todd Pletcher trainee won the $75,000 Honey Ryder Stakes last month at Gulfstream Park and has now won four of six career starts, with earnings of more than $200,000.
“It was very impressive the way she did it today,” said winning rider Javier Castellano, riding her for the second time and winning on her for the first.
She stalked a solid pace through the early going, Conquest Serenade carving fractions of 23.25 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 47.28 seconds for the half-mile, with Involuntary stalking to her outside.
Sweet Victory, in third up the backstretch, went to the attack three wide rounding the turn and pulled clear in the final sixteenth of a mile. Running time for the flat mile was 1:34.68. Favored Pricedtoperfection, fifth after a half-mile, rallied into second. Involuntary held third but was disqualified to last for ducking in and impeding Conquest Serenade; that moved Outsider Art up to third.
Sweet Victory paid $8.00 to win and topped a $2 exacta worth $18.80.
Sweet Victory was bred in Virginia by the late William Backer, who passed away May 13. She is out of the Came Home mare My Mammy, a stakes-placed runner Backer also bred.