Reprinted from Bloodhorse
Fox Hill Farms’ Jolie Olimpica turned in another sprint victory on Santa Anita Park‘s turf May 25 in the $201,000 Monrovia Stakes (G2T), nearly matching her own 5 1/2-furlong course record from the Jan. 11 Las Cienagas Stakes (G3T).
The Brazilian-bred daughter of Drosselmeyer is only a half-length away from a perfect record in six starts. Her Monrovia victory follows a runner-up effort in the Feb. 22 Buena Vista Stakes (G2T), a mile event in which she was caught late after setting the pace.
But on Monday Jolie Olimpica and jockey Mike Smith came from off the pace and rolled down the home stretch while fending off a strong late run from Oleksandra.
“What a nice filly. She basically ran back to her race here in the Las Cienegas two back,” said Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella. “She was so relaxed today. She’s settled nicely into our system and now I think she’ll go longer. I think Mike could’ve done whatever he wanted (with her) today.”
Prior to the Monrovia, Smith said Jolie Olimpica broke out a little early in the Buena Vista, her first two-turn race. He hoped one or two horses would go ahead of his mount Monday, and that’s what played out. Favored at 4-5, Jolie Olimpica broke from the second most outward post in the field of seven and was third on the outside early. Stealthediamonds used her rail draw to slide up the inside to the lead and ran the first quarter-mile in :21.40. Oleksandra, making her first start since winning the Oct. 11 Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes (G3T) at Keeneland, was a step slow at the start and trailed the field by three lengths.
As Stealthediamonds went a half-mile in :43.48, Jolie Olympica cruised forward to put her head in front of Into Mystic and took second by a head, then was back into third after Into Mystic saved ground turning for home. She had 2 1/2 lengths to make up on Stealthediamonds and once straightened, kicked it into gear. The chestnut filly passed Into Mystic again and continued to cut into the pacesetter’s margin. Oleksandra, who found an open lane down the stretch, released a furious rally to make up ground.
Though Oleksandra quickly picked off rivals, she ran out of room as Jolie Olimpica maintained a half-length advantage across the finish line. The winner completed the 5 1/2 furlongs on firm turf in 1:01.11, just shy of her course-record time of 1:01 in the Las Cienagas.
“She’s that kind of horse, she deserves to be ridden confidently, she demands it as well,” said Smith, who has been aboard for all three of Jolie Olimpica’s starts in the United States. “I just let her be and she will get the job done.”
Stealthediamonds held for third a half-length behind Oleksandra.
Jolie Olympica was bred by Stud T N T out of the group 1-placed Brazilian mare Jolie Celina, a daughter of Trempolino. She is a half sister to group 2 winner Domenica and group 1-placed Rock in Bage.
Before transferring to the U.S., Jolie Olympica won the Grande Premio Jockey Club de Brasileiro (G1) for former owner Haras Regina. The Monrovia increased her earnings to $271,520.