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Homeracing

Coppa remains unbeaten with Victory Ride win

Profile Picture: Jen Caldwell

Jen Caldwell

July 9th, 2016

Anthony Fanticola and Joseph Scardino’s Coppa passed her stakes debut with flying colors on Saturday at Belmont Park, taking the $150,000 Victory Ride Stakes (G3) by a neck with regular rider Joe Talamo in the saddle.

Coppa led every step of the way in her initial two starts, but found herself tracking here about three wide as Behrnik’s Bank set the pace through splits of :22.53 and :45.60. Lost Raven was pressing that one in second and ranged up to challenge rounding the turn, accompanied on the outside by Coppa.

The eventual winner took command in the lane but Malibu Stacy and One True Kiss were running as well to her outside and inside. Coppa just turned back those rivals to stop the clock in 1:16.23 for 6 1/2 furlongs over the fast main track.

Sent off the 4-5 favorite, Coppa paid $3.90 for the win. Malibu Stacy was a head up on One True Kiss on the line, while Lost Raven faded to be 5 1/4 lengths behind in fourth. Flatterwillgetyou just missed that spot by a neck and was followed under the wire by Behrnik’s Bank and Blast. Appealing Maggie and Stradivarius were both withdrawn.

Coppa began her career last November at Del Mar, scoring her in her bow by 3 1/4 lengths, then wouldn’t reappear for trainer Philip D’Amato until taking on allowance/optional claiming rivals at Santa Anita Park on May 21. The bay daughter of Yesbyjimminy once again led all the way home to prevail by 3 1/4 lengths in that contest.

Trying stakes competition for the first time in the Victory, Coppa has now banked $153,000 to go along with her perfect three-for-three mark.

Coppa was bred in Florida by Carlos Rafael and sold for $210,000 as an OBS Spring two-year-old. She is out of the Valid Appeal mare Diplomatic Angel, who is a half-sister to Grade 2 hero Federal Trial and Grade 3-placed stakes victress Mystic Union.

Coppa is herself a half-sibling to Grade 1-placed stakes scorer Tropic Storm.

Coppa photo courtesy of NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography

VICTORY RIDE QUOTES

Joe Talamo, jockey Coppa, winner: "When she got in front of those other fillies I really had a ton of horse under me and I thought we were going to open up a little bit. She started out in a good way but when those two other fillies came through (One True Kiss and Malibu Stacy) she really turned it on.

"I was confident she could rate just off the pace. Thanks to Phil, I've been working her a lot in the morning and I definitely got to know her where she'll sit just off horses pretty nice. With that cozy nine-hole in a seven-horse field it worked out perfect."

Chris Davis, assistant trainer Coppa, winner: "For being a lightly raced three-year-old filly, she handled shipping cross-country unbelievably. She showed her class today in running on a new track. It's a lot to ask, and she exceeded all the expectations.

"She settled real nice for Joe today. When she got clear and the horses came running to her late, she dug in and galloped out way in front. She's still learning, but she's doing everything the right way. We couldn't be happier."

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