Ria Antonia: This Filly Can Make The Boys Look Silly at Preakness
It seems like a very tough spot to be, but the connection of Ria Antonia appear to have enough faith that the filly can be a match for the boys in the $1 million Grade I Preakness Stakes on Saturday. It was confirmed earlier this week that the Kentucky-bred daughter of Rockport Harbor will be in the field for the second leg of the Triple Crown. After breaking her maiden second career start last summer racing against colts at Woodbine, Ria Antonia then made a second start against males when finishing fourth in the 7-furlong Swynford Stakes.
Ria Antonia's Big Breeders' Cup Break
Shipping to the States, Ria Antonia then stepped up to Grade I filly company, only to run fifth in the one-mile Frizette Stakes at Belmont. Her big breakthrough appeared to come in her next race, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at 1 1/16 miles. On the speed favoring Santa Anita track, she came from out of the pack to challenge for the lead in the stretch, only to be beaten by a nose by She’s A Tiger. When that one was DQ’d to second for interference in the stretch drive, Ria Antonia was a 32-1 BC champion.
In three starts since, all against fillies, Ria Antonia has had mixed results. She was fourth, beaten 14 lengths in the Grade III Rachel Alexandra over 1 1/16 miles at the Fair Grounds, and then second as the favorite back at Santa Anita in the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks. Her most recent start was the Grade I Kentucky Oaks, where she stretched out to 1 1/8 miles for the first time, and looked to be a threat turning for home but faded to finish sixth. Now she’ll go to the Preakness, where she’ll have to go a quarter-mile further. It seems a tough task, but it’s guaranteed she’ll be at a good price for anyone willing to take a chance.