September 29, 2020

Frank’s Rockette proves much the best in Prioress

Frank's Rockette
Frank's Rockette wins the Prioress Stakes (Coglianese Photos/Chelsea Durand)

By Tommy Raymond

Frank Fletcher Racing Operations’ Frank’s Rockette thoroughly dominated Saturday’s $200,000 Prioress (G2) at Saratoga. Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott and guided to victory by Junior Alvarado, the bay daughter of Into Mischief earned a third straight trip to the winner’s circle.

As the 3-2 favorite, Frank’s Rockette trailed in second to Hello Beautiful past a quarter in :22.23 but responded immediately soon after when called on by Alvarado. She had a head in front through a half in :44.77 and extended her lead to 2 1/2 lengths past five panels in :56.42. From there the lead stayed the same as the sophomore filly defeated seven of her three-year-old contemporaries and completed six furlongs in a snappy 1:08.89 on a fast main track.

Following the winner past the line were Reagan’s Edge, Center Aisle, Secondary Market, Sound Machine, Hello Beautiful, Up in Smoke, and Purrfectly Claire. Kimari was withdrawn.

A Frank Fletcher homebred, Frank’s Rockette came into the Prioress off a score in the Victory Ride (G3) at Belmont. The filly showed last year as a juvenile that she would be one to watch when placing in the Frizette (G1) and Spinaway (G1) and Adirondack (G2). Bred in Kentucky, Frank’s Rockette was produced by 2011 Arlington-Washington Lassie (G3) winner Rocket Twentyone, a daughter of Indian Charlie.

Frank’s Rockette now has a record of 5-4-0 from 9 career starts and a bankroll of $523,603.

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Another race on the card was the $200,000 Glens Falls (G2), which was won by Allen Stable’s homebred Civil Union, who scored her first graded victory as the race’s 2-1 second betting choice.

Beau Belle led the field of seven distaffers through tepid splits of :26.76, :53.22, 1:19.58, and 1:44.61, with Lovely Lucky a constant presence to her outside. The eventual winner, with Joel Rosario in the irons, saved ground on the inside through this whole time as the two front-runners pestered one another. As the field stormed down the Saratoga inner turf for the final time, the Shug McGaughey-conditioned Civil Union swung to the outside and passed her tiring rivals in the final sixteenth, completing the 1 3/8-mile firm turf affair in 2:19.80.

My Sister Nat, the 8-5 favorite, was a length behind the winner and edged out Beau Belle for second. Following those three past the line were Lovely Lucky, Eliade, Pallas Athene, and Complicit.

Civil Union, a daughter of War Front, was bred in Kentucky and is the fourth foal out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Photograph. She is a full sister to Group 3 winner and classic-placed War Dispatch and to Group 3-placed George Patton and U S S Michigan. Photograph has an unraced two-year-old colt named Battle of Britain as well as a 2020 colt named Operation Torch, both also fittingly by War Front.

Through Saturday’s score, Civil Union’s record reads 7-4-1-1, $259,310.