Virginia-bred Wins Stake at Breeders’ Cup

Virginia-bred Long On Value made it an exciting day for the Old Dominion at the Breeders’ Cup this weekend, winning the Grade II Twilight Derby on Friday. The 3-year-old put away the 1 1/8-mile turf race by a neck, making it his second stakes victory in a row. Bred by Snow Lantern Thoroughbreds, Long On Value closed out the Canterbury Park meet last month with a 1 3/4-length victory in the Mystic Lake Derby.

The son of Value Plus made his debut with a three-win streak last summer that included the Jamestown Stakes at Colonial Downs and the Strike Your Colors Stakes at Delaware Park. The Bill-Mott trainee made good on that promise at Santa Anita, stalking the pace under Rosie Napravnik before coming three-wide to rally home. Owned by Wachtel Stable and George Kerr, Long on Value is out of Long Message by Orientate.

Long On Value winning the Grade II Twilight Derby at Breeders' Cup. Photo Courtesy Benoit Photo.

Long On Value winning the Grade II Twilight Derby at Breeders’ Cup. Photo Courtesy Benoit Photo.

Virginia-bred Thank You Marylou also gave Virginians a reason to cheer at Santa Anita, running a good third to Wesley Ward’s Judy The Beauty in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. Bred by Mr. and Mrs. C. W. McNeely, the chestnut miss put in a willing finish on the rail to come home with good energy for the show ticket. The daughter of Birdstone put in a dominating performance in the Grade III Dogwood Stakes at Churchill Downs in September. No stranger to stakes races, the 3-year-old’s debut was a winning one in the Tippett Stakes at Colonial Downs last summer–a victory she followed up with a second-placed finish in the Grade II Adirondack at Saratoga and a victory in the Any Limit Stakes at Gulfstream. Named by current connections Ken Ramsey for Marylou Whitney, Thank You Marylou continues to live up to her classy namesake.

Thank You Marylou was a game third to Judy The Beauty in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.

Thank You Marylou was a game third to Judy The Beauty in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.

In other action from the day, Virginia-bred Pagan Priestess took an allowance at Laurel Park on Friday by a neck. Bred and owned by Bob Sowder and trained by Robert Bailes, the 6-year-old won the Maryland Million Ladies Stakes in 2012, and is a familiar fixture on the Midatlantic circuit. Rarely out of the money, Pagan Priestess was third in the Maryland Million Ladies Stakes this year, as well as winning an allowance at Pimlico. Back of the pack through the opening stages of this 1 1/16-mile race, the daughter of Oratory took the insight route to nip the win at the wire — despite being four wide and between horses coming into the stretch.

Pagan Priestess wins an allowance at Laurel Park on October 31. Photo courtesy Jim McCue.

Pagan Priestess wins an allowance at Laurel Park on October 31. Photo courtesy Jim McCue.