Joint Return posts last-to-first upset of Busher
By Jenny Kellner | 02/01/2014 05:30 PM ET
Sweeping five wide into the stretch, Joint Return roared from last to first to take the $100,000 Busher on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack, her third straight victory.
Sent off at 7-1, Joint Return settled in last, about seven lengths off the pace, as Fierce Boots rolled through an opening quarter-mile in 24.58 seconds, with the half going in 50.28 and three-quarters in 1:15.90. Roused on the turn by jockey Kendrick Carmouche, Joint Return moved up in tandem with favored Ballylee as the field of seven 3-year-old fillies straightened for home, grabbing the lead a furlong out and pulling clear to win by 4 ¼ lengths over Vero Amore.
"Today she was really on the muscle as I warmed her up," said Carmouche of Joint Return, who completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:48.49. "We left there and she put me in a good position. Being four and a half, five lengths off of it is a good pace for her, and I thought from there they couldn't beat her."
The victory was the first in a stakes for Joint Return, a late-running daughter of Include who broke her maiden on November 19 at Parx Racing and then came from 19 lengths back to take a first-level allowance there on January 1. Trained by John Servis for Main Line Racing Stables, Joint Return suffered her only loss when third in her debut on October 8 over a muddy Parx track.
The winner returned $16.80 for a $2 win bet and essentially doubled her earnings to $119,660.
Finishing third, a half-length behind Vero Amore, was Ketel Twist, with pacesetter Fierce Boots fading to fourth. Favored Ballylee checked in fifth, and was followed under the wire by My Jimmy Chew Girl and Fleet of Gold.
"She was in a tight spot a couple of times throughout the race," said trainer Tom Albertrani of the beaten favorite, who was making the second start of her career. "She never really got a chance to do a whole lot of running when I did think she needed to get herself going. It didn't work out."