December 12 – Lilacs and Lace secured her place on the Sallusto & Albina Honor Roll with her victory in the 2011 Ashland Stakes (G1) at Keeneland. She’s now making a big name for herself as a broodmare in Japan.
The Flower Alley filly was a promising juvenile in Northern California in the latter half of 2010 and captured the California Oaks at Golden Gate Fields in her sophomore debut. After that victory, bloodstock agents Nick Sallusto and Hanzly Albina negotiated a deal with breeders/owners Judy Hicks and Kathryn Nikkel to add James Covello to the partnership. She ran a sneaky good fourth in Turfway Park’s Bourbonette Stakes in her subsequent start before her wire-to-wire upset in the Ashland Stakes at 46-1. That victory earned her a berth in the Kentucky Oaks (G1).
When her racing days were over Sallusto and Albina again went to work and brokered a deal with Japanese breeders Northern Racing, represented by fellow thoroughbred agent Emanuel de Seroux.
Among the first two foals Lilacs and Lace produced for her new connections is the $1.4 million weanling L’Arc. Her third foal, Lucky Lilac, has really been the charm though.
A two-year-old filly by Orfevre (Jpn), Lucky Lilac ran her record to a perfect 3-for-3 with a brave victory in the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies (G1), Japan’s most imporant race in that division.
“She was a bit keen in her last start but was very relaxed today,” winning rider Syu Ishibashi said after the triumph. “We were in a good striking position at the top of the stretch, which gave me all the confidence I needed. Her physical ability is extremely high and she is very intelligent, too. Although she has room to improve, I just hope she can start the next season in good form.”
The Hanshin victory makes Lucky Lilac the favorite for a JRA Award as Champion Two-Year-Old Filly. Back in North America, Sallusto & Albina private purchase Caledonia Road is among the leading two-year-old fillies after her stunning victory in the November 4 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1).