July 18, 2024

Sparkle Blue, Key of Life star in Keeneland stakes

Sparkle Blue wins the Valley View Stakes (Photo by Coady Photography)

Sparkle Blue provided trainer Graham Motion with another victory in Friday’s $298,594 Valley View S. (G3) for three-year-old fillies on the penultimate day of the Keeneland fall meet.

Under Joel Rosario, Sparkle Blue enjoyed a ground-saving trip in third down the backside, went around tiring pacesetter Bubble Rock in mid-stretch, and drew off to a 2 1/2-length victory.

This was the record fourth Valley View win for Motion, who previously saddled Tiger Ride (2015), Quidura (2016), and Colonia (2018) to victory in the 1 1/16-mile test.

Racing in the colors of George Strawbridge’s Augustin Stable, which co-owns the filly with breeder Catherine Parke, Sparkle Blue finished up in 1:42.42 over a turf labeled good.

California Angel rallied for second by a neck over Turnerloose, who edged Bubble Rock for third. Majestic Glory, the 2.90-1 favorite, finished fifth and was followed by Lady Puchi, Bicameral, My Philly Twirl, Sunroof, and Heavenly Hellos. One of four scratches from the race was 5-2 morning line favorite Dolce Zel.

The Valley View was the second career stakes win for Sparkle Blue, who earned her first in the July 2 Christiana S. at Delaware Park. She most recently finished second in the Virginia Oaks at Colonial Downs. Sparkle Blue’s record now stands at 7-4-1-0, $357,075.

Bred in Kentucky, Sparkle Blue is a Hard Spun half-sister to Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) winner Shared Account, who in turn produced Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) winner Sharing. Sparkle Blue also counts as a half-sister Grade 3 winner Colonial Flag.

Earlier in the card, Key of Life had little trouble dispensing with nine two-year-old filly rivals in the $200,000 Myrtlewood S.

The odds-on favorite following a blowout allowance win over the Lexington track on Oct. 7, Key of Life made it 3-for-4 for her career with a 6 3/4-length triumph under Florent Geroux. She paid $3.34 after covering six furlongs on a fast track in 1:11.09. Lady Radler outfinished Baby Got Backspin for the place by 1 3/4 lengths.

Owned by Flurry Racing Stables and Hoffman Family Racing, Key of Life is trained by Brad Cox. Bred in Kentucky by Moreau Bloodstock International, she sold earlier this race for $350,000 at the OBS April sale. By Mo Town, Key of Life was produced by the Harlan’s Holiday mare Longride to Wisdom.