Let Her Inspire U (Practical Joke) Wins The Empire Distaff Stakes at Belmont @Aqueduct

Let Her Inspire U Leads Coolmore Exacta in Empire Distaff

It was a Coolmore-sired stakes exacta on Sunday when Let Her Inspire U (3f Practical Joke x Caribbean Lady, by Speightstown) led home Munnings’ Sharp Star in the Empire Distaff Stakes.

Let Her Inspire U kept pressure on the pacesetter for the first half of the 1 1/8 mile dirt race, never leaving her hip down the backstretch. That runner faded as the field entered the final three furlongs and Let Her Inspire U took over from there. In the stretch, Irad Ortiz Jr. asked her for her best and the China Horse Club runner complied for a 2 ¼ length win with Sharp Starr finishing another 2 ¼ lengths ahead of the third placed runner.

That win came less than an hour after Practical Joke’s juvenile Joking Way led from gate to wire at Churchill Downs for a 6 ¾ length victory in his second start. That colt is trained by Steve Asmussen for Winchell Thoroughbreds. Bred by Chisago Farm, he was a $270,000 Keeneland September Yearling purchase last year.

The winner of four of five starts this year and four of eight career starts with three other top three finishes, the 3-year-old Let Her Inspire U was a $500,000 Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream purchase from Top Line Sales last year. China Horse Club sent her to Todd Pletcher, who has trained her to a stakes win and placing in two starts at the level.

Bred by Pine Ridge Stables, Let Her Inspire U is out of a winning half sister to multiple Grade II winner Halory Leigh. That mare is also the granddam of two stakes performers. This is also the family of Grade I winners Johnny Guitar and Kheraimes.

Let Her Inspire U has a juvenile half-sister by Mendelssohn named Caribbean Breeze, a yearling Lookin At Lucky half-brother, and a weanling full brother.