Miss Ella ekes out victory in Franklin County

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Jen Caldwell

October 15th, 2016

Jack Swain III’s homebred Miss Ella just held on to deny 5-2 favorite Fair Point by a neck in Friday’s $100,000 Franklin County Stakes (G3) at Keeenland.

Ridden by Joel Rosario for trainer Graham Motion, the Exchange Rate filly bided her time in midpack before moving into the six path heading into the stretch. Miss Ella surged past leader Melaleuca, who had set the early pace through :22.17 and :45.85, and then withstood Fair Point’s late rally to complete 5 1/2 furlongs on the firm turf in 1:04.52.

Sent off the 3-1 second choice, Miss Ella paid $8.20 for the win, her first graded victory since taking the Beaumont Stakes (G2) at Keeneland while making just her second career start in April 2015.

Fair Point was game in defeat, holding the second longest shot on the board, 58-1 Smoke Signals, to third by 2 1/4 lengths. Full Tap came next and was followed under the wire by Boom Bam Bing, Late Spring, Everything Lovely, Melaleuca, Scatter Gun, Touch of Bling, My Year Is a Day and Mississippi Delta.

Miss Ella improved her career mark to read 13-5-2-1 and has now banked $440,700 in lifetime earnings. In addition to her graded scores, the four-year-old bay lass owns two other stakes triumphs in last year’s Christiecat Stakes and this season’s Caress Stakes. She’s placed in three black-type events, the Coronation Cup Stakes, Smart N Fancy Stakes and Intercontinental Stakes over the past two seasons.

The Kentucky-bred Miss Ella is the first registered foal out of the Woodman mare Sweet Tune. This female family includes Chilean champions Isola Piu Bella and Santona.

Miss Ella photo courtesy of Keeneland/Coady Photography


Graham Motion, trainer Miss Ella, winner:

“Great that this (race) was graded today. This filly, she’s very tough. She can run on either surface. It’s ironic that this is her first win on the turf because I think she’s actually better on the turf.”

Joel Rosario, jockey Miss Ella, winner:

“I had a perfect trip, a beautiful trip. It looked like they were going very nice up front. I was just behind them, hoping to make one run.”

Jose Ortiz, jockey Fair Point, second:

“She missed the break a little bit, but other than that she ran really hard in the stretch. We almost got there.”

James Graham, jockey Smoke Signals, third:

“I had a lovely trip sitting there in the second flight – just beautiful and on the bridle. I asked her and she ran down the lane. She was happier to get through the hole (on the rail) than she was getting to it. Once she got into it, she was gone.”