Jersey Pearl Brings Perfect Dirt Form to G1 Test
Jersey Pearl prevails by a neck May 27 at Churchill Downs (Coady Photography)
NYRA Press Office
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.— Silverton Hill’s stakes-placed Jersey Pearl, who boasts a perfect 3-for-3 record on dirt, makes the step up to the graded ranks for the first time in Saturday’s Grade 1, $500,000 Test, a seven-furlong main track sprint for sophomore fillies, at Saratoga Race Course.
Trained by Darrin Miller, Jersey Pearl enters off back-to-back six-furlong optional-claiming scores in Kentucky, taking a May 27 tilt against fellow sophomores in May at Churchill Downs before defeating elders by 9 1/2 lengths on July 8 at Ellis Park. The daughter of Bee Jersey debuted on turf for trainer Brian Lynch before a second-out graduation over the main track in October at Keeneland.
Jersey Pearl made her first two starts for Miller over the Turfway Park synthetic, but relished a return to dirt in her May 27 win when increasing her lifetime-best Beyer Speed Figure by 20 points . She improved that number further in her latest outing when traveling the same distance nearly a half-second faster and garnering a 93 Beyer.
#1 Jersey Pearl runs away from the field in R6 at Ellis Park under Francisco Arrieta for trainer Darrin Miller! 🏇🎥 #TwinSpiresReplay pic.twitter.com/b3jRL5Nj7L
“She’s good, I’m pleased with her and she shipped up fine,” said Miller. “I’m looking forward to seeing her run. This is a big step up for her, but that last race gave us confidence. She had time off preparing for her start at Churchill and she’s been very good since we put her on dirt. Now that we know what we know, I think we can throw out the poly races. She’s kind of kept improving and it was a lesser bunch last time, but she handled it and was enthusiastic in her stretch run. That was good to watch.”
Jersey Pearl led at each point of call for the first time in her most recent effort, but Miller is confident the chestnut filly can sit a good stalking trip behind speedy competitors like Munnys Gold and Maple Leaf Mel, or inherit the lead if the race does not unfold how it appears on paper.
“I don’t think she needs the lead. I think she can sit comfortably,” said Miller. “It’s kind of a funny race because I think everyone has the same mindset of what will go on with the style of most of the fillies in there, but it may not be how it goes at all. She seems like she’s comfortable off the pace too, so we’ll see.”
Miller is in pursuit of his first graded win at the Spa, but secured a black type win with Ruby Notion in the $200,000 Caress in 2018. The Kentucky-based conditioner is no stranger to bringing a live longshot to Saratoga, having finished second in both the Grade 2 Amsterdam and Grade 1 King’s Bishop [now the H. Allen Jerkens Memorial] in 2003 with Great Notion, who was sent to post at odds of 21-1 and 16-1, respectively.
“Any race up here is great, but a race like this is especially so,” said Miller. “I can’t even really put it into words.”
Bred in Kentucky by Charles Fipke, Jersey Pearl, who finished third in the Gowell over synthetic in December, was a $12,000 purchase at the 2021 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. She has banked more than 17 times her purchase price with total purse earnings of $206,225 through a consistent record of 6-3-1-1.NYRA Press OfficeJersey PearlDarrin Miller