Munnings’ Venetian Harbor Flies to Las Virgenes Victory
Venetian Harbor (3f Munnings x Sounds Of The City, by Street Cry) flew onto the Kentucky Oaks trail on Saturday when the Munnings daughter dominated the Grade II Las Virgenes Stakes in her stakes debut.
Running over a mile at Santa Anita, Venetian Harbor broke first and immediately took command. A heavy favorite, the filly quickly opened up on the field under Flavien Prat only a furlong into the race. Prat kept the filly well restrained and the filly was more than happy to listen, letting the field get within a length of her with more in hand.
Prat released his restraint as they hit the stretch and in a matter of strides she again opened up multiple lengths on the field without much effort. There was no catching Venetian Harbor as she won by 9 1/4 lengths with her ears pricked under a hand ride.
Trained by Richard Baltas for Ciaglia Racing, River Oak Farm, and Dominic Savides, it was the second win in three starts for Venetian Harbor after an impressive maiden score in late December. Bred by Colts Neck Stable, she was a $110,000 Keeneland September yearling from the Ashview Farm consignment.
The second foal for multiple Listed placed Sounds of the City, the filly’s fourth dam is Grade I Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Safely Kept with Sounds of the City’s dam and half-brother keeping that success alive as stakes winners themselves.
Munnings has quickly proved to be an in-demand value sire with 15 graded stakes winners, 37 stakes winners, and 59 stakes horses. One of the leading sires of juveniles last year, Munnings has an excellent group of 3-year-olds in 2020 with Venetian Harbor joined on the Kentucky Oaks trail by Grade II winner Finite.