Equibase Analysis: Mission Of Joy Should Get Back To Winners’ Circle In Regret - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Equibase Analysis: Mission Of Joy Should Get Back To Winners’ Circle In Regret

This Saturday's Grade 3, $225,000 Regret Stakes drew a compact but talented field of six 3-year-old fillies. Half of the group exit the G2 Edgewood Stakes run four weeks ago on Kentucky Oaks Day. The best finisher that day was Mission of Joy, who was just a neck behind the runner-up when the finish line came up. Prior to that, Mission of Joy won the Grade 3 Florida Oaks.

Papilio (IRE) rallied from fourth to second on the turn in the Edgewood but the effort took a bit out of her late as she faded back to fourth at the wire. Girl Named Charlie won the Allen Black Cat LaCombe Memorial Stakes prior to a sixth in the Edgewood and might have finished higher if not for being blocked during a critical stage of the stretch run. Sabalenka was a well-beaten eighth in the race at 45 to 1 odds and that effort followed a non-threatening sixth place effort in the G2 Appalachian Stakes in April.

Mrs. Astor was trying stakes competition for the first time last month in the Horseshoe Indianapolis Handicap and wasn't disgraced when fourth in a blanket finish on the wire. Miss Riddler makes only the third start of her career, first in a stakes race and second following the return from nine months away from the races, but she is perfect in two races and could be the one that the other five will have to catch as she likes to lead from the start and gets the ground saving rail.

Win contenders:

Mission of Joy began her career in a sprint on the all-weather surface at Woodbine last summer, finishing fifth of 11 in what appeared to be nothing more than a race designed to give her experience. Nearly three months later in December, Mission of Joy tried turf and stretched out to two-turns, easily winning by four lengths. She won her next two races as well, also turf routes, including the Florida Oaks in March. In that race Mission of Joy put forth a visually impressive rally from seventh and wide on the far turn to win by a neck at the wire. She had already shown excellent improvement from race to race since first racing on the grass, earning Equibase® Speed Figures of 72 then 80 then 91. In her most recent race, the Edgewood Stakes four weeks ago over the same turf course at Churchill Downs as the Regret Stakes, Mission of Joy improved to a career-best 101 figure even though she finished third in the 11 horse field. In that race, Mission of Joy found herself behind a wall of horses after the field entered the stretch. Then, with no room to run, jockey Joel Rosario angled her out sharply for a clear path and she took off moving quickly from sixth to third and making up a couple of lengths when she ran out of time. Still, Mission of Joy was beaten just a neck for second, with the winner another three-quarters of a length in front. For the Regret, Mission of Joy gets a jockey change to Tyler Gaffalione. As it is easy to believe if this filly had found a clean path to run earlier in the stretch she would have won, she can win the Regret with good racing luck.

Girl Named Charlie is also on a pattern for improvement, having made her 3-year-old debut in January in her first turf route and winning nicely by two lengths to earn a 78 ™ figure. She improved to a 93 figure in her second start of the year in March when winning the LaCombe Memorial Stakes, then again to a 99 figure in the Edgewood last month. Similar to the traffic trouble encountered by Mission of Joy in that race, Girl Named Charlie found herself on the inside and behind a wall of horses as the field turned for home, but she and jockey Morales never found a path to run while Mission of Joy did, with Girl Named Charlie hopelessly blocked until many of the horses in the race were already in full stride. As such, Girl Named Charlie only managed to finish sixth in the race, but it can be assumed she would have finished much better if not blocked during that critical stage of the stretch run and therefore could run as well in the Regret as she did one race before her last race.

The rest of the field, with their best representative ™ Equibase® Speed Figures, is Miss Riddler (85), Mrs. Astor (88), Papilio (IRE) (101) and Sabalenka (97).

Win Contenders in preference order:

Mission of Joy
Girl Named Charlie

Regret Stakes – Grade 3
Race 5 at Churchill Downs
Saturday, June 3 – Post Time 2:45 PM E.T.
One Mile and One-Eighth on Turf
Fillies, Three Years Olds
Purse: $225,000

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