Vahva Earns First Stakes Victory In Charles Town Oaks

Vahva, chasing some of the best 3-year-old fillies in the country in her previous starts this year, earned her initial stakes victory on Friday night at Charles Town in West Virginia, coming from just off the pace under John Velazquez to score a popular 1 1/4-length victory in the $750,000, Grade 3 Charles Town Oaks.

Trained by Cherie DeVaux for the partnership of Belladonna Racing, Edward J. Hudson, Jr., West Point Thoroughbreds, LBD Stable, Nice Guys Stables, Manganaro Bloodstock, Runnels Racing, Steve Hornstock, and Twin Brook Stables, the 3-year-old filly by Gun Runner covered the seven furlongs in 1:25.01. She paid $4.80 as the favorite in the field of 10.

Undervalued Asset, ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, finished second, nosing out 96-1 long shot Late Frost and jockey Jeiron Barbosa. Metaphysical, Lily Poo, Imonra, Interpolate, Hoosier Philly, Opus Forty Two, and Chismosa completed the order of finish.

Late Frost set all the fractions in the two-turn sprint on the Charles Town “bull ring”: :23.37, :46.82, and 1:11.61.

Breaking from the rail post, Velazquez used Vahva’s speed to maintain her position on the inside behind Late Frost, who broke from post two, and Undervalued Asset, who started from the outside post position.

When the field rounded the far turn, after Undervalued Asset was sent up to engage Late Frost, Velazquez swung his filly off the rail and took on the top pair, wearing them down in the final furlong to win going away.

It was the third win from nine starts for Vahva, who was produced from the stakes-winning Harlan’s Holiday mare, Holiday Soiree. Bred in Kentucky by Woodford Thoroughbreds, Vahva was purchased for $280,000 by BDR IV and West Point from the Woodford Thoroughbreds consignment at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

After breaking her maiden at Churchill Downs last November, Vahva chased eventual G1 Kentucky Oaks winner Pretty Mischievous in the Untapable Stakes and G2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds last winter, won a Churchill Downs allowance race, then finished third behind ill-fated Maple Leaf Mel in the G3 Victory Ride at Belmont Park on July 8.

The post Vahva Earns First Stakes Victory In Charles Town Oaks appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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