ELMONT, N.Y. – Perry Harrison’s dual Grade 3-winner Change of Control will face males for the second time in her career in Saturday’s Grade 1, $400,000 Jaipur for 3-year-olds and upward sprinting six furlongs over the Widener turf course.
The Jaipur is one of three Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races on Saturday’s lucrative Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets card and offers the winner a berth in the Grade 1 Turf Sprint in November at Keeneland.
Trained by Michelle Lovell, the bay daughter of Fed Biz will look to give her conditioner the first Grade 1 victory of her career as she enters the Jaipur off a narrow defeat in the 5 1/2-furlong Unbridled Sidney on May 5 at Churchill Downs.
Lovell said she is excited for the chance at her first Grade 1 as Change of Control stretches out an extra sixteenth.
“It would mean the world,” said Lovell. “With the six furlongs, she likes a little more ground. She can put herself close and in a stalking position usually. She grinds it out and she closes – she’s game. A little more distance helps her.”
Change of Control was bested a neck by Tobys Heart in the Unbridled Sidney after briefly taking command at the top of the lane and battling to the wire with her foe.
“It’s hard to watch her get beat because she does give everything,” Lovell said. “Tobys Heart is a nice mare. I thought we were going to get there.”
Change of Control broke her maiden at fifth asking over a sloppy and sealed main track at Fair Grounds Race Course en route to her first stakes victory in the Mamzelle sprinting five furlongs over Churchill’s turf course. She went on to collect three more allowance victories and a one-length Giant’s Causeway coup before landing her first graded win in last year’s seven-furlong Grade 3 Intercontinental over the Belmont Park lawn.
In the Intercontinental, Change of Control rated two lengths off the pace in third and rallied under regular rider C. J. Hernandez to best multiple stakes-winner Piedi Bianchi by 1 1/2 lengths. The win was the first of two New York stakes victories for Change of Control, who went on to capture the Autumn Days in November at Aqueduct.
“It was awesome. She loves New York and she’s won two stakes races there,” said Lovell. “She’s my favorite horse and the best I’ve ever trained. She’s really honest and so professional.”
Lovell said it was Harrison’s call to send Change of Control to the Jaipur rather than defend her title in the Intercontinental on Friday.
“She’s got her work cut out for her, but she’s doing good. She’s a good, honest mare,” said Lovell. “The owner has had his sights set on this race and he’s wanted to try and get a Grade 1 placing for her. This is her last year racing before she goes to be a mama.”
Change of Control currently boasts a 35-9-8-7 record and earnings of $809,725. As Lovell reflects on Change of Control’s career in her final season of racing, she shared an appreciation for the mare’s professionalism in all she has achieved.
“She’s a very healthy horse. She trains lightly and doesn’t need much,” Lovell said. “I let her do what she wants to do and she enjoys it that way. She’s a happy horse and an easy horse to train. She’s physically in great shape and mentally awesome. She’s stayed good for a long time. I wish she was three and not six. I haven’t had a more professional and courageous horse. She lays it down every time.”
NYRA Press Office
Photo Change of Control winning the Autumn Daye and earning Black Type at Aqueduct Nov. 28, 2021 under Colby Hernandez. (Chelsea Durand)