Group 3 Encore for Congrats

Vinery shuttler Congrats banked more black-type with Emma’s Encore in New York on Saturday.

Emma’s Encore (3f Congrats – French Opera by Wild Again) took advantage of blistering fractions up front to score by next to three lengths in the G3 Victory Ride Stakes at Belmont Park. She clocked 1.08.80s for 1200 metres.

“I was so confident in the filly,” jockey Junior Alvarado stated. “She broke really good and got herself comfortable. Then she started to pick it up and gave me a nice, good kick.”

Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens indicated the filly will now be set for a Group 1 campaign at Saratoga in the Prioress Stakes on August 4 and Test Stakes on August 25.

Emma’s Encore was freshened up for the sprint trip at Belmont after an unplaced effort in the G2 Gulfstream Park Oaks over 1800m in March. “She had been working very well,” Jerkens said. “She’s turning out to be a real good filly and it was my mistake to run her in the Gulfstream Oaks.”

Emma’s Encore was bred in Florida by Equest Thoroughbreds and is raced by Brenda Mercer and Peter Berger. Her dam Wild Again is a sister to G3 winner Wild Emotions and they are related to ill-fated 2006 Kentucky Derby hero Barbaro.

Congrats (A P Indy) has sired 101 winners of 232 races at a 70% strike-rate and his oldest are only four year-olds. He returns to Vinery for a second southern season at a $22,000 (inc gst) service fee in 2012.

Emma’s Encore is one of 22 stakes performers sired by Congrats and top of the list is his champion filly Turbulent Descent. She is also slated for a Saratoga assignment in the G1 Ballerina Stakes on August 24.