The three-year-old filly picture was scrambled in Saturday’s $200,000 Davona Dale (G2) at Gulfstream Park. Not only did champion Jaywalk flop in her first start since the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), but it was the longest shot on the board, the unheralded Jeltrin at 51-1, who stunned the Kentucky Oaks (G1) prep.
The two could hardly have brought more contrasting profiles. Jaywalk had won four straight, three of them stakes highlighted by the Frizette (G1)/Breeders’ Cup double. She had never finished worse than second, in her career debut, for trainer John Servis.
While none of Jaywalk’s rivals could approach her resume, Jeltrin was arguably the least among them on paper. The $7,000 Keeneland September yearling debuted here last fall for a $35,000 tag, finishing second, and romped next out in a $50,000 maiden claimer at Gulfstream Park West. Trainer Alexis Delgado placed her in a starter/optional claimer, but not risking the tag, back at Gulfstream and she tired to third.
Taking a class hike into stakes company, Jeltrin also picked up a new rider in Leonel Reyes. She modified her running style from pace factor to closer, and finished fourth in both the restricted Glitter Woman and in the February 2 Forward Gal (G3). After going off at 63-1 and 124-1, respectively, in those spots, she appeared up against it in the Davona Dale.
Reyes was unfortunately unable to contribute to her career high. As reported by Caton Bredar via Twitter, he had to go to the hospital with a foot injury sustained before the 9TH race.
Jockey Luis Saez was the beneficiary as the super sub aboard Jeltrin, handing owner ADR Racing Stable and Delgado their first graded victory. ADR Racing has only three active horses, according to Equibase, and one is in partnership. Delgado just began training in 2017, and he had all of 13 career wins going into Saturday.
In the early going, Jaywalk conceded the lead to the intent Cookie Dough, but that smacked of a clever move by Joel Rosario to get off the fence and steer into the favorable outside stalking spot. Favorite backers could have been content as Jaywalk was perched right off Cookie Dough through fractions of :24.21 and :47.41.
But just when Jaywalk was starting to loom alongside, she uncharacteristically lost position on the far turn and beat a retreat. Cookie Dough, suddenly sitting prettier at the six-furlong mark in 1:12.00, edged away again into the stretch.
Then Jeltrin, hitherto within striking range in third, found her best stride. Gaining on the longtime leader despite racing on her left lead, the longshot finally switched leads in the last yards. Cookie Dough tried her hardest to hang on, but Jeltrin headed her to spring the massive upset.
By covering the mile in 1:36.83, Jeltrin sparked a $105 win payout while boosting her own bankroll to $158,588 from a 6-2-1-1 record. She earned 50 Oaks points, leaping to second on the leaderboard with a total of 51, having pocketed her first point in the Forward Gal.
Cookie Dough, a clear second by 4 1/2 lengths, opened her account with 20 Oaks points. Third-placer Champagne Anyone took home 10 points, increasing her total to 13.
Jaywalk trudged home another length back in fourth, adding 5 points for 35 overall.
Servis told Gulfstream publicity that Jaywalk “pulled up fine” and “just needed the race.” She remains on course for the Oaks, advancing to the March 30 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) or the April 6 Ashland (G1) at Keneland.
Rounding out the order of finish were Bold Script, Another Time, and the tailed-off High Regard, who took a bad stumble at the start.
Jeltrin is by Tapizar, the same sire as last year’s Oaks star and champion three-year-old filly, Monomoy Girl. Bred by C. Kidder, N. Cole, J.K. Griggs and Linda Griggs in Kentucky, she is out of the Successful Appeal mare Song to the Moon. Jeltrin is a half-sister to Purple Heaven, multiple stakes-placed at Northlands Park.
Saez was capping a graded treble following earlier scores in the Palm Beach (G3) and in the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3). In the sprint, Sagamore Farm’s Recruiting Ready resorted to Plan B after breaking a beat slow on the rail. The 1-2 favorite wound up stalking in the pocket instead of setting the pace. Quijote, who figured to be behind Recruiting Ready early, also offered a tactical wrinkle by pressing longshot My Chinumado and striking the front on the far turn. But Recruiting Ready adapted well for Saez, got out to challenge Quijote, and asserted down the stretch to score by 3 1/4 lengths. Sweetontheladies rallied for third.
Recruiting Ready negotiated six furlongs in 1:09.53 and improved his record to 18-7-2-4, $579,785. The son of Algorithms has now won two of three since joining trainer Stan Hough, taking the December 23 Gravesend off the six-month layoff and chasing World of Trouble home in the off-the-turf Gulfstream Park “Turf” Sprint on Pegasus World Cup Day. For previous trainer Horacio DePaz, Recruiting Ready captured the 2017 Chick Lang S. and Bachelor S., and his placings include that season’s Woody Stephens (G2) along with the Iroquois (G3) and Bashford Manor (G3) (to champion Classic Empire) at two.