Alva Starr Emulates Half Sister In Winning Prioress, Provides Brinkman First Graded Score As Trainer

Alva Starr, bred by owner P. Dale Ladner and trainer Brett Brinkman, utilized a prominent trip engineered by Jose Lezcano to secure a powerful 8 3/4-length victory in Saturday’s $250,000 Prioress (G2), a six-furlong sprint for sophomore fillies, at Saratoga Race Course.

It was the second Prioress score for Ladner, who won this event in 2021 with Alva Starr’s half-sister by California Chrome, Cilla, who raced that day in trainer Charlton Baker’s care when Brinkman didn’t take out his New York license.

Alva Starr, a Lord Nelson bay, is out of the graded stakes-placed Into Mischief mare Sittin At the Bar, who was campaigned by Brinkman and Ladner. Alva Starr is also a half-sibling to multiple graded stakes-placed Club Car, and stakes-winner Jack the Umpire, all campaigned by the same connections.

Alva Starr arrived at her graded stakes debut from a 6 3/4-length romp in the six-furlong Dashing Beauty on July 8 at her Delaware Park base.

“This filly had not missed a beat since the Delaware race and we just felt really good coming into the race. It doesn’t put us into the winner’s circle, but we felt good about it,” said Brinkman, who secured both his first official graded win and first Spa score. “A lot of times good horses make it look easy, but they are running fast and she’s got a quick turn of foot from a high cruising speed and that’s all I told Jose when he worked her and when he got on her today. I said, ‘Let her be who she wants to be, she is very manageable and use her assets.’”

Alva Starr emerged from a three-pronged battle for the lead with Jersey Pearl and Unified Alliance to mark the opening quarter-mile in :21.73 over the fast main track with Unsung Melody and 3-5 mutuel favorite Dazzling Blue tracking their early foot.

Alva Starr led to the turn as Joel Rosario rushed Dazzling Blue into second position through a half-mile in :44.64 and Jersey Pearl remained in contention while saving ground in third. Alva Starr opened up by 5 1/2-lengths at the stretch call to put away Dazzling Blue and drew off to a comfortable score in a final time of 1:09.14. Jersey Pearl completed the exacta by 2 1/2-lengths over Dazzling Blue with Unsung Melody and Unified Alliance completing the order of finish.

Lezcano worked Alva Starr a half-mile in 48.21 Sunday over the Spa main track in her final Prioress prep.

“I thought I worked her too slow, but when I checked the time she went :48 and change. She did it so easily and I felt I just galloped her out there,” Lezcano said. “The trainer told me to go like :49. I grabbed the bridle and she did it so easily. I knew she was very nice. Today, I watched her replays and she looked like a very fast filly. I was very impressed with her today. She’s a very nice filly.”

Alva Starr graduated on debut last September at Delaware Park and returned to action in May with a runner-up effort to next-out stakes winner Unifying in an optional-claimer at Oaklawn Park. She followed with a close runner-up effort to Jersey Pearl in May in an optional claimer at Churchill Downs ahead of her recent stakes score.

The Darrin Miller-trained Jersey Pearl, who was fifth last out in the Test (G1) at the Spa, was game to the wire to complete the exacta under leading rider Irad Ortiz Jr.

“The winner ran away from me and was much the best today,” Ortiz said. “She felt great. We had three horses with speed, so I expected to be forwardly placed and I go from there.”

Brinkman said he could potentially point Alva Starr to the seven-furlong Raven Run (G2) on October 21 at Keeneland — a race Cilla finished third in following her Prioress score.

“We have a couple races marked out. We will go into Keeneland and see. I feel like she can get seven-eighths. The pedigree, you know, we’ll see,” Brinkman said.

Alva Starr banked $137,500 in victory while improving her record to 5-3-2-0. She returned $9 for a $2 win bet.

The post Alva Starr Emulates Half Sister In Winning Prioress, Provides Brinkman First Graded Score As Trainer appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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