Parx Racing hosted its first two state-bred stakes Saturday afternoon, the $75,000 Lyman Handicap and the $75,000 Foxy J G Stakes. Briardale Stable’s Tujoes rallied from mid-pack to win the Lyman while Virginiana’s Villette came from just off the pace to score in the Foxy J G. Both stakes were contested at seven furlongs, the Lyman for three year-olds and up and Foxy J G for fillies and mares, three and up.
In the Lyman, Tujoes rallied from sixth at the half-mile pole in the field of nine, powered past the leaders coming to mid-stretch and went on to a decisive 2 1/4 length victory. Breaking from the far outside gate, Tujoes, a six year-old gelded son of Oratory, was fifth after the opening furlong and actually lost a spot and was sixth with four furlongs remaining. Moving three wide to the far turn, he began to close a gap that had widened to three and a half lengths. Harbor Kid, a 9-2 front runner, set the pace, while 4-1 second choice Arlo was in closest pursuit. Coming to the top of the stretch, Arlo was getting to Harbor Kid and had managed to forge past with an eighth to go, but that lead was short lived. Tujoes had found his best stride in the middle of the race track after being forced four wide turning for home and charged past Arlo to take command just outside the final sixteenth. He then eagerly pulled away while the others battled for the balance, hitting the wire just better than two lengths in front. Off as the favorite at 7-5, he paid $4.80 to win for trainer Steve Klesaris and finished out in 1:23.88.
Virginiana’s Villette sat a patient and perfect trip chasing front running Ann’s Smart Dancer, caught her with about a furlong to go and then pulled away to a convincing 2 ½ length victory in the Foxy J G Stakes. Breaking second from the inside gate behind the quick Ann’s Smart Dancer, Villette was content to chase the pace from the inside throughout the first half mile, watching intently as the leader went the first quarter in 23.99 and an uncontested half in 47.20. Sitting two lengths back with a half-mile to run, winning jockey Stewart Elliott eased his mount into the clear to the outside of the leader and closed to within a length with three furlongs to run. Coming to the quarter pole, Villette went after Ann’s Smart Dancer in earnest and was able to wrest the lead away just outside the eighth pole. Late running Lisa Stannard was now beginning to close ground on the far outside, but Villette got first run, was going well, and was never in any danger through the final furlong. The four year-old Petionville filly drew out late to win the first stakes race of her career, clearly in the best form of her life, winning for the third time in her last four starts. Trained by John Servis, she went off at 6-1, paid $14.40 to win and covered the seven furlongs in 1:24.85.