Sparkle Blue surged past the pace-setting Bubble Rock nearing the 16th pole and drew off to score a two-and-a-half-length victory in the $300,000 G3 Rubicon Valley View Stakes at Keeneland on Friday, 28 October.
The three-year-old daughter of Hard Spun, who was winning for the fourth time in seven career starts, earned her first Graded Stakes victory in the Valley View, to go along with her earlier success in Christiana Stakes at Delaware Park.
Bubble Rock took the field of 10 through the initial stages of the race, with My Philly Twirl (also by Hard Spun) chasing in second. Sparkle Blue tracked that pair in third while saving ground along the inside rail.
Bubble Rock continued to lead the way through the far turn and into the stretch, and when My Philly Twirl began to fade, jockey Joel Rosario moved Sparkle Blue off the rail for a clear shot at the leader. By the sixteenth pole, Sparkle Blue had opened a clear lead and cruised to the victory. California Angel closed for second by a neck over the Nyquist filly, Turnerloose.
Bred in Kentucky by Catherine Parke, Sparkle Blue is out of Silk n’ Sapphire, a winning daughter of Smart Strike. Sparkle Blue is a half-sister to Shared Account, winner of the G1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf and to Colonial Flag, winner of the G3 Ontario Colleen Stakes. As a broodmare, Shared Account has produced the talented filly Sharing, winner of the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and second in the G1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Sparkle Blue is one of 12 Stakes winners this year for her sire, Hard Spun. In addition to the Valley View winner, Hard Spun has sired recent Stakes winners Hard to Figure, Sister Seagull, Hard Empire (G2 in Aust.), Aloha West, Loyalty, Two Phil’s and Spun Glass.