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Filly Rockport Harbor Beer Baroness
No stranger to facing males, Ria Antonia would become the 54th filly to try her luck in the Preakness. Of those, five have won: Rachel Alexandra (2009), Nellie Morse (1924), Rhine Maiden (1915), Whimsical (1906) and Flocarline (1903). Kentucky Derby winners Genuine Risk (1980) and Winning Colors (1988) finished second and third, respectively, as betting favorites.
Ria Antonia was purchased for $9,000 as a yearling by Kyle Griffith and made her first three career starts at Woodbine in Canada. Trained by Ricky Griffith and ridden by Chris Griffith, she beat males to break her maiden by six lengths in her second lifetime start, and was fourth against the boys in the Swynford Stakes.
Purchased privately by Ron Paolucci of Loooch Racing Stable, she was transferred to trainer Jeremiah Englehart and finished fifth in the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont Park. A month later, she lost the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies by a nose but was promoted to the win following the disqualification of She’s a Tiger.
Voted the Sovereign Award as Canada’s top juvenile filly of 2013, Ria Antonia is winless in three 2014 starts. Fourth in the Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra at Fair Grounds in February, she ran second in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks and a distant sixth in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.