Brianna Joy hardly worked up a sweat with another front-end victory in the $17,800 Illinois Owners and Breeders Association stake later Wednesday night October 19.
It was her sixth in a row against state-bred sophomore fillies, setting up her first major test against open company distaffers here on Windy City Pace Night, Friday, October 28.
“She’s just a great filly,” trainer Seldon Ledford said. “This was a little prep for her as we’re going to be putting her in the Cinderella Stake here next week.”
Fox Valley Zena (Andy Miller) stung Brianna Joy in the first turn before the overwhelming 3-10 favorite got the front end she loves. However, after a :27.2 first panel driver Eric Ledford was able to stroll Brianna Joy ($2.60) through a pair of :29.2 middle quarters before he asked the multiple Illinois stake champion for another gear. Thefilly responded, drawing off to win by four lengths in 1:55 flat.
Fox Valley Zena saved the place spot by a nose over a fast-closing Jay Bee’s Muffie (Sam Widger).
“We work with Brianna Joy in between starts, trying to keep her calm and happy because she’s the type of horse that can get pretty hyper at times,” continued Sheldon Ledford. “She’ll try your patience and you just have to be very quiet when you’re working around her and try not to get her upset.”
Brianna Joy’s triumph was No. 11 in 15 season starts. She swept the Springfield State Fair, including a career best 1:49.3 clocking in the final, took the Time Dancer at DuQuoin and followed her Orange and Blue elimination and championship at Balmoral Park. She’ll bring two-season earnings of $302,839 into the $100,000 Cinderella on October 28.
The Cinderella is one of four open stakes on that Friday card, headed by the $275,000 (est.) Windy City Pace Final for three-year-olds, the $150,000 Abe Lincoln for first season pacers, and the $120,000 (est.) Galt Trot for sophomore colts and geldings.
Mike Paradise, director of publicity