Multiple grade 1 winner City of Light was represented by his first winner July 31 when Three Diamonds Farm and Joseph Besecker’s Roja Ligera surged to a 1 1/4-length victory in a 5 1/2 furlong maiden special event at Ellis Park.
After completely missing the break in her July 1 career debut at Churchill Downs to finish 10th, Roja Ligera was quick to make amends on Sunday afternoon for trainer Joe Sharp. Bet down as the 9-5 favorite in a field reduced to 9, the filly sat a stalking trip just off the leader before seizing command at the top of the lane. Under steady encouragement from jockey Brian Hernandez Jr., Roja Ligera rolled to the wire, racing the 5 1/2 furlongs in a final time of 1:05.31 on a muddy main track.
Bred in Kentucky by Machmer Hall, Roja Ligera is the first foal out of the Union Rags mare Redbud, who hails from the family of grade 1 winner Speech and this year’s Essex Handicap (G3) hero Rated R Superstar . Besecker signed the ticket on Roja Ligera for $75,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company March Sale of Two-Year-Olds-in-Training from the Wavertree Stables consignment.
City of Light has caused quite a stir in the sales ring, with his first crop yearlings averaging $115,875 and selling for up to $1.7 million, and his 2-year-olds this year averaging $167,588 at the juvenile sales. The son of Quality Road stood the 2022 breeding season for $60,000 at Lane’s End Farm in Versailles, Ky.
Original article: City of Light Sires First Winner at Ellis Park – BloodHorse
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