Practical Joke’s Becky’s Joker Wins G3 Schuylerville
Becky’s Joker (2f Practical Joke x Becky’s Best, by Elusive Quality) made her debut on the biggest stage on Thursday at Saratoga and came out a winner with a victory in the Grade III Schuylerville Stakes.
Becky’s Joker broke slowly in the six-furlong race but quickly took advantage of an open rail to catch up to the field and sit just behind the leaders. Jockey Javier Castellano swung her off the rail to go through a gap between the two leaders at the top of the stretch and right as they hit the final furlong, she took the lead.
In the end, Becky’s Joker won by 3 ¼ lengths with Munnings’ Closing Act in third.
Bred by Warran Harang, Becky’s Joker is trained by Gary Contessa for Lee Pokoik.
“I knew that physically she was as good as anything in this race. She trained like a stakes horse, but you don’t know what’s going to happen once the gate opens … but she told me from Day One, ‘I’m the right horse, and I’m good enough for a race like this.' With Lee Pokoik, it’s easy because he always wants to run in stakes races. I didn’t have to do much convincing to the owner and I would have to just eat a little crow if I was wrong,” Contessa said.
The trainer said that the Grade I Spinaway is likely Becky’s Joker’s next start.
The filly is the first foal out of a half-sister to Grade II winner Vertical Oak and the stakes placed Payne. Vertical Oak is also the dam of stakes-placed Giant Mischief. Becky’s Joker’s granddam is the multiple stakes winning Vertical Vision.
Practical Joke is the only stallion to have more than one juvenile stakes winner this year with Tx Women for Arts winning a stakes for the stallion last Friday as well.