Porte Bonheur took advantage of the opportunity handed to her when the 2-5 Indyanne broke flatfooted at the start of the $150,000 Victory Ride Stakes, wearing down the previously undefeated favorite to post a half-length decision in the Grade 3 sprint for 3-year-old fillies.
Porte Bonheur ($24.60), well placed from the outset under jockey Ramon Dominguez, split rivals when launching her bid into the stretch and wore down a game but tiring Indyanne in the final yards of the six-furlong Victory Ride. She covered the distance in 1:09.51.
Indyanne, not only unbeaten but untested in four previous starts, spotted the field several lengths after lunging at the break but was able to rush through along the rail to gain the lead before completing a quarter-mile. Indyanne disposed of early challenger J Z Warrior once settling into the stretch, and dug in when engaged by Porte Bonheur approaching the sixteenth pole. Informed Decision finished third.
"That's racing," Indyanne's trainer, Greg Gilchrist, said after the race. "As you progress up the ladder and the races get tougher you can't afford those types of mistakes. Take nothing away from the winner, she ran a smashing race, but obviously the break cost us the race."
The Victory Ride was not only the most important win of Porte Bonheur's career but also the first graded victory for her trainer, David Duggan.
"I would have been happy with second at the top of the stretch," admitted Duggan, who trains Porte Bonheur for owner Johanna Murphy-Leopoldsberger. "I knew she was doing good and she proved she belonged with this kind today."
Saratoga, 8th Race - August 23, 2008