Winning Double For Practical Joke At Ellis Park
It was a two winner day for Practical Joke at Ellis Park on Saturday when both Page One (2c Practical Joke x Bailzee, by Grand Slam) and T. K.’s Joker (2f Practical Joke x B G Golden Eagle, by Corinthian) won on debut.
A $260,000 Keeneland November weanling purchase by OXO Equine, the Brad Cox-trained Page One showed to be a professional in his six furlong Maiden Special Weight run on the dirt.
Jockey Martin Garcia allowed Page One to stay a few paths off the rail as he raced prominently behind the leader. Garcia looked confident on his mount and Page One showed why in the stretch.
Page One had to battle in the stretch but barely felt the whip as Garcia gave him a vigorous hand ride. He passed the longtime leader as they passed the sixteenth pole and was building his lead before a late closer came on the scene in the shadow of the wire. That runner cut the margin down to half a length in the end.
Five races before, T. K.’s Joker opened up the card with a win over 5 ½ furlongs on the dirt. Raced by R. Townsend Sparks and breeder Keith Crupper, the Rick Hiles-trained filly was one of the shortest shots on the board.
Breaking from the seven-hole just like Page One would do later on the card, T. K.’s Joker broke evenly with the rest of the field and was happy to run in third under Rafael Bejarano. As they galloped around the turn, T. K.’s Joker made his move to draw even with the leader and had the lead soon after they entered the stretch.
The filly had to dig deep down the stretch to hold off a late charger but gave her sire another half-length winner in the end.
Bred and sold by Elm Tree Farm, Page One is one of five winners from five to race out of stakes-placed Bailzee. That mare is a daughter of a stakes performer as well with her Grade II-winning dam Golden Gale also producing Grade III-placed Knights Cross. Other produced by Golden Gale include the dam of stakes winner Cakewalk and Munnings’s Grade II-placed Fleetwood along with the dams of three other stakes performers.
T. K.’s Joker is the second foal out of a half-sister to the Grade III-winning dam of Grade I winner Her Emmynency and stakes-placed Perfect Star. B G Golden Eagle is also a half-sister to stakes-placed Glittering Affair and to the dam of two-time Turkey Horse of the Year Good Curry and stakes-placed Among The Stars.
The family continues showing Grade I form throughout the page with T.K.’s Joker’s granddam a half-sister to six-time Grade I winner Best Pal and three other stakes performers.
On Saturday, Practical Joke also saw Bourbon Heist finish second by just a neck in a Saratoga Maiden Special Weight and debutante Keychain Girl miss out on third by just a head in a Del Mar Maiden Special Weight.
After his winners today took him up to 10, Practical Joke is now tied for the second most winners behind Caravaggio. A triple Grade I winner himself, Practical Joke is also one of only five freshmen to sire a graded stakes winner this year after Wit stayed undefeated in the Grade III Sanford Stakes last month.