VA-BRED BUSTER’S READY WINS GRADE 1 MOTHER GOOSE

(Horsephotos.com/NTRA)

Virginia-bred Buster’s Ready dominated the Grade 1, $250,000 Mother Goose for 3-year-old fillies, beating Joyful Victory, the 4-5 favorite, by 4 1/4 lengths on Saturday at Belmont Park.

The race got off to a strange start as the extremely rank Alseera broke on top. Her jockey, Alan Garcia, struggled for control before the filly bolted to the outside fence down the backstretch.

That unexpected event left Salty Strike and Buster’s Ready, with John Velazquez aboard, dueling for the lead.

She took charge in the lane and drew clear in the final furlong. Joyful Victory, the 4-5 favorite, rallied for second. R Gypsy Gold held third, giving Pletcher a 1-3 finish.

A maiden winner in a $50,000 claimer for Todd Pletcher last November at Aqueduct, Buster Ready won for the third time in six starts this year. She entered the 1 1/16-mile Mother Goose off a good runner-up effort in the May 20 Black-Eyed Susan (gr. II) at Pimlico Race Course.

Buster’s Ready is a Virginia homebred of the Estate of Edward P. Evans. She is out of the Honour and Glory mare Beatem Buster.

“She’s been steadily improving all winter,” Pletcher said of Buster’s Ready. “She’s a filly we always felt wanted more distance.”

Pletcher said her next likely start will be the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks on July 23 at Saratoga.