Keeneland's Jenny Wiley Stakes Results and Payouts for 4/16/22
|Jenny Wiley Stakes Results||Payoffs - Win Place Show|
|1||Regal Glory - $4.00; $2.20; $2.10|
|2||Shantisara (IRE) - $2.40; $2.10|
|3||Lady Speightspeare - $2.60|
Regal Glory Shows Her Class in Jenny Wiley Stakes
By the end of her 5-year-old campaign, Regal Glory had both the race credentials and pedigree to go to any elite stallion of her connections’ choosing. And had her team stuck to their initial plan, the 2022 season would indeed have marked the start of a second career in the breeding shed for the daughter of Animal Kingdom.
The only problem with that equation was the fact Regal Glory wasn’t done showing off her best competitive form and kept pleading her case to remain on the racetrack. After storming down the Keeneland stretch to best stablemate Shantisara (IRE) by a length in the 34th edition of the $500,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes (G1) on April 16, the 6-year-old ensured that her future as a broodmare will have to wait at least another year to begin.
After ending her 2021 season by annexing the Matriarch Stakes (G1) at Del Mar last November, owner Peter Brant initially sought to have the Jan. 29 Pegasus World Cup Filly and Mare Turf Invitational (G3) at Gulfstream Park serve as the chestnut mare’s career swan song. When she captured that test by 2 ½ lengths and continued to show all the right signs to four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown, the decision was made to press on and see if she couldn’t use this year to take command of the female turf ranks.
“We were going to run her one more time in Florida and we did," Brant said. "But she loves racing so much. She’s one of those older mares that just really enjoys training and is very happy. So we just said well, she’s never been any better so we’re just going to keep her this year and she’ll be retired next year.”
Regal Glory has been making Brant’s choices look like strokes of genius ever since he went to $925,000 to purchase her from the dispersal of bloodstock from the late Paul Pompa, Jr. out of the 2021 Keeneland January Horses of All Ages sale.
Brown, who trained Regal Glory for Pompa, told Brant he thought he might have stretched too far to land the now multiple Grade 1 winner. In the seven starts she has made carrying Brant’s colors, however, the mare has rewarded him with five wins including three graded stakes triumphs.
“I just wanted to have something from (Pompa’s) dispersal and this was my choice of the horses I wanted,” Brant said. “Chad liked her, of course. But he told me we maybe paid a little too much for her. We didn’t.”
Added Brown, “I especially want to thank Mr. Brant for stepping up and buying her out of the dispersal for Mr. Pompa, another dear friend and client of ours. It was his call to keep her in training this year. I probably would have bred her, and he said, ‘No, she’s in good form and I want to see her run another year. I have a feeling this is her year,’ and so far, he’s right.”
Sent off as the even-money favorite in the six-horse field Saturday, jockey Jose Ortiz had Regal Glory stalk pacesetter Navratilova in second as that one cut fractions of :24.41 and :48.14 while maintaining a one-length advantage. Navratilova maintained the lead to the top of the stretch but Regal Glory quickly got her measured and opened up with more than enough left to hold off Shantisara.
“She’s extremely competitive. She knows where that wire is, and with Shantisara (IRE) – that’s a real horse running at her,” said Brown, who won the Jenny Wiley for the fifth time in his career. “For (Regal Glory) to hold her off and to show she can get a mile and a sixteenth twice now. It looks like she could even go a little bit farther.
“She’s a tricky horse to ride, and (Ortiz) deserves a lot of credit. He showed her versatility. He’s adapted to a lot of situations out of the gate with her.”
Regal Glory returned $4, $2.20 and $2.10. Shantisara returned $2.40 and $2.10 with Lady Speightspeare rallying to finish another 6 ¾ lengths back in third. Final time for the 1 1/16-miles distance was 1:40.97 over a course rated good.
“I think that her best spot is really seven furlongs to 1 1/16-miles,” said Brant, who indicated a start in the Grade 1 Just a Game Stakes at Belmont Park could be next for Regal Glory. “She’s really turned out well. I’m just very lucky to own her.”