Northern Miss Jojo delivered a sweet surprise to her connections on Valentine’s Day, scoring a win toward the end of the Tuesday, Feb. 14 card at Miami Valley. Guided by Brandon Bates, the Indiana sired filly with a big maternal family rallied home impressively in 1:53.2.
Starting from post two, Northern Miss Jojo didn’t have a lot of early speed and moved to the inside as soon as she could, getting away in fourth as Impressive Girl and Tyler Smith and then Bonita Jo and Brady Galliers showed early speed through a quick quarter in :26.3. Another lead change put Always Sugary and Chirs Page on the lead before the half in :55.4, prompting the outer flow to begin forming.
Northern Miss Jojo led the charge on the outside and eased up to the leaders. After the three-quarters in 1:23.3. Northern Miss Jojo held her ground outside Always Sugary as Amy L and Brett Miller swung three-wide in the turn, only to make a break, leaving Northern Miss Jojo with one less opponent to contend with for the stretch drive.
Northern Miss Jojo got the lead and kept on going, opening up to a two and one-half length win at the wire. Impressive Girl finished second followed by Addictivebehaviour and Sam Widger, who moved up late for third.
Northern Miss Jojo paid $16.20 for the win. The five-year-old daughter of Time to Roll is owned by Lisa Gosselin and trained by Pat Melloy Jr. It was her first win of 2023 and her sixth overall. She now has a bankroll of more than $50,000 with her career best time taken last year at four at Dayton. Northern Lane Farm bred the mare, who is from the farm’s premier brood mare Northern Lei Ann.
Northern Lei Ann was one of the top pacing mares of her day in Indiana. She took a mark of 1:52.1 and made more than $211,000 racing in the late 2000s in Indiana. She competed in Indiana Sires Stakes action early on and later raced in the Invitationals for pacing mares. Alvin Miller trained her during the early part of her racing career. Ron Otto trained the Lease on Life mare later on. Prior to moving to the Otto barn, she won a race at The Meadowlands and Freehold Raceway under the direction of Don Niccum. After her racing career was over, she returned to her roots with Martin Schmucker and Northern Lane Farm of Grabill, who has owned her during her entire career.
Northern Lei Ann has been impressive as a brood mare. Out of eight foals of racing age, seven have raced with Northern Rocknroll (1:52.4, $221,000) and Northern Cadilac (1:50.1, $171,000) leading the way as her quickest and most prosperous foals. She has a two-year-old filly named Northern Lucky Lei ready to hit the track this season. The Luck Be Withyou filly is still owned by Northern Lane Farm.