Fate played a part when More Than Ready 3yo Elevenses won the Any Limit Stakes LR at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.
She was sent off a prohibitive favourite in the 1200m sprint for fillies and then took off in the straight for owner Joseph Shields Jr and trainer Jimmy Jerkins.
Elevenses is the 182nd stakes winner by Vinery legend More Than Ready. A romping 10 length debut victory at Aqueduct in November, she stepped straight into stakes company but suffered a wide trip in the Glitter Woman Stakes LR at Gulfstream in January.
Jerkins sent her back to a claimer and added blinkers for a 7-length runaway on March 4 before a deserved black-type return on Saturday. She was bumped at the break and then angled inside while under snug hold back on the rails.
Jockey Luis Saez launched a burst nearing the corner and she remained determined down the lane. “We had a pretty good trip. I knew there was a lot of speed and that everybody would be rushing,” Saez reported. “I love that filly. She has a big heart.”
Elevenses was a relatively inexpensive $50,000 yearling pick-up for Shields at the 2016 Keeneland September Sale. She is the second foal of Cougarstown (Speightstown), a winner of the LR Harvest Stakes in California.
“Her early wins were on the lead so it was good to see she had the class to do that today,” Jerkens said. “It looked like she wasn’t going to be able to get through. But Luis is the leading rider here and I kind of knew he was going to get it done.”
It was a special result for Jerkins. His father, the late, great Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens prepared Any Limit. “I’ve known Jimmy for 25 years,” Shields said recently. “Good horses make a big difference and his career can blossom to the same level as Allen.”
It was also a win to remember for Shields having raced Any Limit to Group 1 victories in the 2008 Honorable Miss Stakes and First Flight Stakes. The New Yorker has a double-figure Group 1 tally going back to 2003 Breeders’ Cup winner Puzzlement.
At Rosehill on Saturday, two proven mares received major updates for their More Than Ready fillies at next month’s Inglis Easter Yearling Sale. Sunday Chill (Lot 392) is an older half-sister to Golden Slipper Stakes Gr.1 runner-up Oohood and Secret Indulgence (Lot 486) is a half-sister to the dam of Manion Cup Gr.3 winner Master Of Arts.