Judy the Beauty returns a winner in Rancho Bernardo - NBC Sports

Judy the Beauty returns a winner in Rancho Bernardo
AP Photo
August 17, 2014, 10:15 pm

Judy the Beauty hadn't competed since finishing fourth as the favorite in the May 3 Humana Distaff atChurchill Downs on the Kentucky Derbyundercard, but got back to her winning ways Sunday with a 1 1/4-length victory in the Grade 3, $147,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap atDel Mar.

Settled more than five lengths off the pacesetting Amaranth through fractions of :21 4/5 and :44 3/5, Judy the Beauty bided her time in third under jockey Mike Smith. Reneesgotzip was keeping the leader company on the outside and put in her bid rounding the turn.

Judy the Beauty had begun moving by this point and was only a head back of Reneesgotzip. She easily slid on past and pulled away to finish 6 1/2 furlongs on the Polytrack in 1:15 3/5.

Sent off the 6-5 second choice, Judy the Beauty paid $4.60 for the win. Madame Cactus came from well out of it in last to take second by 2 3/4 lengths over 4-5 favorite Reneesgotzip, who had bobbled at the start. Amaranth completed the order under the wire. Show wagering was canceled following the scratches of Fashion Plate and Sagebrush Queen.

The results took a few minutes to be declared official as the stewards conducted an inquiry into a bumping incident between Reneesgotzip and Amaranth in midstretch, but made no change after concluding it didn't affect the original order of finish.

Owned and trained by Wesley Ward, Judy the Beauty has now banked $1,112,146 lifetime to go along with her 17-8-7-1 career mark. The Ghostzapper mare had never finished worse than third before running fourth in the Humana Distaff, but got back on track in this spot.

She began her five-year-old campaign at Santa Anita, taking the Las Flores, then shipped cross-country to add Keeneland's Madison to her resume prior to her run under the Twin Spires last out. The chestnut captured the Thoroughbred Club of America at Keeneland last season, holding Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint champion Groupie Doll to third that day, and finished a half-length second to that rival next out when Groupie Doll defended her Breeders' Cup title at Santa Anita.

Judy the Beauty's other stakes win, Woodbine's Shady Well, came when she was a juvenile, and she followed that by going on a four-race runner-up streak that included the Spinaway, Prioress and Gallant Bloom Handicap. That latter race closed out her sophomore season, and she opened 2013 with an optional claiming win before recording another pair of seconds in the Winning Colors and Princess Rooney Handicap as well as a third behind Groupie Doll in the Presque Isle Downs Masters.

Bred in Ontario by Adena Springs, Judy the Beauty was a $20,000Keeneland September yearling. She is out of the stakes-winning Holy Bull mare Holy Blitz, and her third dam is the stakes-scoring Horsafire, who would go on in the breeding shed to produce Grade 2 heroine Incinerate, Grade 3 victor Fan the Flame and Judy the Beauty's second dam, multiple stakes winner Pagofire.

Incinerate is herself the dam of both Grade 1 diva and 2005 Kentucky Oaks runner-up In the Gold as well as three-time stakes scorer High Blitz. Another of Horsafire's grandprogeny is Hemingway's Key, who ran third in the 2006 Preakness.

Farther back in this female family one can find champions Affectionately, Bridal Flower, Bimelech and Black Helen as well as blue-hen mare *La Troienne.

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