Since I focused on a longshot yesterday, today I will highlight the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) favorite, Joyful Victory.
I had the privilege of being up close and personal with the daughter of Tapit this morning as she ventured to the track for some light training. In typical Larry Jones fashion, the trainer was aboard Joyful Victory himself, and her ears were pricked in curiosity of her surroundings as she made the jaunt to the track.
While the dozens of spectators that were capturing her morning routine weren’t typical for the filly, she seemed to enjoy every minute of it, as Jones joked with the crowd that Joyful Victory relishes all the attention she can get.
Even though my ungloved fingers were freezing while exposed to the unseasonably cold temperatures the morning of May 4, I couldn’t help myself from snapping a few photos of Joyful Victory, who is looking to boost her status to grade I winner in the Oaks.
I talked with owner Rick Porter of Fox Hill Farms a couple weeks ago about Joyful Victory, and he spoke highly of the sleek gray, who is one of two daughters of Tapit entered in the Oaks. The other is Zazu, trained by John Sadler for Jerry and Ann Moss.
“Larry says she’s training terrific…we think Oaklawn and Churchill’s surfaces are very similar, so we think she’ll like the (Churchill) surface,” said Porter, referring to Joyful Victory’s decisive scores in the Honeybee (gr. III) and Fantasy (gr. II) at the Arkansas track. She won those two races by a combined margin of 15 3/4 lengths.
“Larry said, ‘You really haven’t seen her run yet. She’s had two very easy races, but you’re going to see her run on Oaks Day. So when Larry tells you that, it’s usually a good sign. I really think she has a lot of talent, and she has a great way of going.”
Past features to help you handicap the Oaks:
Joyful Victory Favored in Deep Oaks Field
Bakers Dozen Set for Kentucky Oaks
Daisy Devine: Cinderella Story of the Oaks
Lilacs and Lace: Ready for Lilies
Kathmanblu: An Unlikely Superstar