Jody's Pride Returns Victorious in Busher


Photo: Coglianese Photos/Susie Raisher
Jody's Pride overcomes wet conditions to win the Busher Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) runner-up Jody's Pride  made a winning 3-year-old debut in the $200,000 Busher Stakes on a sloppy, rainy day at Aqueduct Racetrack March 2.

The 50 points Jody's Pride earned in the Busher combined with the 15 points she attained last year should be enough to put the American Pharoah   filly in the starting gate for the Kentucky Oaks (G1).

Bred in Kentucky by Steve Weston and named after his wife Jody, Jody's Pride is owned by Weston's Parkland Thoroughbreds and Sportsmen Stable. Jody's Pride is out of the Scat Daddy mare Jody's Song , who was undefeated in two career starts.

Jody's Pride is just shy of being undefeated herself in four starts. Her only loss came when her late rally fell a neck short of eventual champion Just F Y I  in the Breeders' Cup.

In the Busher, Jody's Pride and rider Jose Lezcano stalked the pace from third early. She moved into second as the leader—Pennsylvania-bred multiple stakes winner Carmelina —ran the opening half mile in :46.81.

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Carmelina and rider Mychel Sanchez put up a good fight, floating Jody's Pride out to the six path as they turned into the stretch. But Jody's Pride gradually gained the advantage over the game pacesetter to win by 2 1/4 lengths. Final time for the mile was 1:38.49.

Jody's Pride improved her career earnings to $590,250. Winning trainer Jorge Abreu said the April 6 Gazelle Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct and the May 3 Kentucky Oaks could lie ahead for Jody's Pride.

"She ran two turns already and my concern was if she was going to perform as well as she did as a 2-year-old. She did, and I think she wants to go longer than that even," Abreu said.

This was the third win in the Busher for Weston, who won it with Espresso Shot  in 2019 and her half sister Venti Valentine  in 2022.

"We made it (to the Kentucky Oaks) once before with Venti Valentine," said the winning breeder/co-owner. "I'm not saying we have the best horse for the Oaks of the 14, but at least we have a chance." 

Carmelina, a 3-year-old daughter of Maximus Mischief  , finished second. Trainer Butch Reid Jr. was encouraged by the performance and the 25 Kentucky Oaks points Carmelina earned.

"Valiant effort from my filly. First time off of a bit of a break and I thought she ran great. She didn't give up, she is certainly a tough little filly," Reid said. "We will get her back and reevaluate, but she certainly didn't do anything to change my mind (about the Oaks trail.)"

Calumet Farm's Busanda Stakes winner Gin Gin  finished third. 

Video: Busher S. (BT)