Great Spirit scores in Fancy Buckles

Great Spirit showed ‘em her heels in last night’s Fancy Buckles Stakes at Charles Town Races. Now she, too, is a stakes winner, just like big half-brother Dr. Feelgood.

Dr. Feelgood, who dominated local sprinters for most of 2018-2020, won five stakes in his sparkling career, which concluded with an undefeated ledger at the one-turn, 4 ½-furlong distance of last night’s contest.

Racing for the same connections – trainer Crystal Pickett and owner-breeder Jill Daniel – Great Spirit has fashioned a 4-for-6 ledger in her young career and last night registered her first stakes win. After having finished second and fifth in two prior stakes tries, the latter versus boys in last month’s Coin Collector, Great Spirit entered last night’s Fancy Buckles, for state-bred fillies and mares, looking for redemption.

She found it in a front-running score in which she dominated her rivals from the jump.

Under jockey Jose Montano, Great Spirit quickly found the front. She showed the way through an opening quarter-mile in a sharp 21.86 seconds, arriving at that marker with a 1 ½-length advantage. It never got closer.


Great Spirit
Great Spirit won the Fancy Buckles Stakes. Photo by Coady Photography.

Longshot Stryda gave willing chase, but though Great Spirit raced on her left lead in the lane, could make no impact. Post time favorite Lucylou Who, winner of the seven-furlong Original Gold in April, had an awkward start before mounting a mild rally but could do no better than third.

The final margin was 1 ¾ lengths, and the running time on a fast main track was 51.48 seconds.

Great Spirit returned $7.40 to win as the bettors’ second choice. The exacta, with 20-1 Stryda in second, paid $50.40 on a one-dollar ticket.

Great Spirit now has four wins from six starts. Her first career stakes win pushed her to $124,573 in earnings. 

A homebred for Jill Daniel, Great Spirit was bred in West Virginia. She is by Maryland stallion Great Notion and out of the productive Polish Numbers mare Happy Numbers.