Winning Spree Continues for Star Filly La Rosa (NZ)
Friday, October 2, 2020
Trainer Mark Jones enjoyed one of his biggest thrills in harness racing when La Rosa (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) ran away from her rivals to win the inaugural $150,000 Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million 2YO Fillies Pace (1980m) at Addington on Friday night.
Taken straight to the lead by driver Samantha Ottley, La Rosa never gave her opposition a look in when powering away to win by an impressive three and three-quarter lengths.
Trainer Mark Jones peaked his filly so that she would be at her absolute best for the first ever running of a NZB Standardbred Harness Million Race Series fillies race at Addington.
Pulling off such a brilliant training performance meant La Rosa’s win rated up with the thrills Jones enjoyed with his champion trotter and two time Group One Dominion winner, Master Lavros.
“That was a huge thrill – that would be up there with the big wins we had with Master Lavros – because we set her for this race and everything worked out,” Jones said.
“She is a lovely filly.”
La Rosa was knocked down to Jones for $100,000 at the NZB Standardbred National Yearling Sales at Auckland in 2019.
A glance at the filly’s pedigree page reveals one of the reasons why Jones was keen to his hands on the filly when she was offered as part of Robert and Sandy Mitchell’s Wairau Farm draft.
Jones, the 2003 World Champion driver, drove La Rosa’s grand dam, Sparks A Flyin (NZ) (Sands A Flyin) in the Group One wins that saw her crowned New Zealand Three-Year-Old Filly Of The Year in 2001.
Jones retained a share in La Rosa through his WDC Limited and syndicated her remaining shares between stable clients Jim Haynes of Starmark Limited, and Grant Hatton and Michael Jones of Sir Loins Limited.
Jones said his owners put in plenty of time inspecting yearlings ahead of the 2019 National Yearling Sale and also liked what they saw when they came across La Rosa.
Shanika (Bettor’s Delight) (NZ) followed La Rosa throughout the NZB Standardbred Harness Million 2YO Fillies Pace, but could not quite run her down in the straight.
The Robert Dunn trained filly took second, two and three-quarter lengths in front of third placegetter, Avana (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight), who ran third.
The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained Avana fought bravely for third placing after being caught wide early and having to sit parked outside La Rosa for much of the race.
Braeview Kelly (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) ran home well to take fourth to help champion sire Bettor’s Delight produce the first four placings.