Archive for February 2018

Martini Glass earns first graded stakes win with Royal Delta

Martini Glass the Royal Delta credit Leslie Martin4HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Former claimer Martini Glass became a graded stakes winner for the first time after wearing down the 4-5 Lewis Bay to upset the Grade 3 Royal Delta, the highlight of Monday’s special 12-race holiday program at Gulfstream Park.

Click here to read article from DRF.

Martini Glass was haltered out of her career debut by owner-trainer Keith Nations for $16,000 at Tampa Bay Downs on February 20, 2016. She gained national attention last summer after finishing second to Songbird in the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap and further acclaim following her second-place finish behind Romantic Vision three months later in the Grade 1 Spinster.

Martini Glass showed her versatility on opening day of the championship meet when switching to turf to win the Claiming Crown Tiara. She had kept a steady diet of two-turn races coming into the one-mile Royal Delta, most recently finishing a troubled third in the 1 1/16-mile Grade 3 Ladies Classic at Sam Houston.

With regular rider Paco Lopez aboard, Martini Glass saved ground while racing within easy striking distance of early pacesetters Lewis Bay and Curlin’s Approval. Martini Glass tipped three wide to commence her rally approaching the stretch before getting clear by a length at the end.

Lewis Bay, winner of the Grade 3 Rampart here coming off a 13-month layoff in her 2017 finale, contested the pace inside Curlin’s Approval, shook free turning for home but could not resist the winner while easily second-best, 3 1/4 lengths in front of the slow-starting and wide-running Verve’s Tale. Curlin’s Approval, racing without front shoes for the first time, prompted the issue to the stretch before coming up empty at that point, ultimately checking home a tiring and disappointing fifth in the field of eight older fillies and mares.

Martini Glass, a 5-year-old daughter of Kitalpha, is owned in partnership by Nations and Vince Campanella. She covered the distance over a fast track in 1:36.48 and paid $18.40.

“To be where we are with her right now is amazing,” Nations said. “We were just thrilled to death to run second to Songbird. That just made our whole year. And she’s just moved forward and gotten better. Though she maybe could have won one or two of those other stakes, but she’s been bothered by troubled starts. She’ll break a little tardy sometimes and get herself in a bad spot. We’ve always been lucky and done pretty well with our claims, but this time we overachieved.”

Nations said some people criticized him for turning her back to a mile for the Royal Delta. But he felt one of her best earlier races was her victory going seven furlongs against starter-allowance competition last spring at Tampa.

“I think she ran seven furlongs in 1:22 and was a tick or two off the track record that day,” Nations said.

“She breezes fast, she does it all within herself, she likes the slop, she likes the turf, there really isn’t anything she doesn’t like.”

Nations, who is stabled at Tampa Bay Downs, said he might stay local for Martini Glass’ next start, putting her back on the turf for the Grade 2 Hillsborough on March 10.

Take Charge Paula a commanding winner in Forward Gal

TakeChargePaula HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Peter Deutsch recently decided to increase his investment in Thoroughbreds, and the initial returns are promising. Deutsch was elated Saturday when his newly acquired Take Charge Paula ran off to a 3 1/2-length victory in the 38th running of the Grade 3, $200,000 Forward Gal at Gulfstream Park.

Click here to read article from DRF.

Making her first start since being privately purchased by Deutsch and turned over to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, Take Charge Paula broke sharply under Paco Lopez to force all the pace in the seven-furlong Forward Gal. After putting away Heavenhasmynikki, she was easily clear of a belated run by Sultry when finishing in 1:23.47 over a fast track. The winner paid $7.40 as the slight favorite in a field of eight 3-year-old fillies.

“She’d had a couple of weeks with Kiaran and progressed really well,” said Deutsch, whose fortune emanates from the Connecticut-based Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits. “At some level I’m incredibly excited, and at some level I’m not surprised because she’s already shown what a classy filly she is.”

Deutsch, 55, said he has owned horses for about seven years, with his first stakes winner being Adirondack Summer in the 2011 Dania Beach at Gulfstream. This, however, was his first graded win as an owner.

McLaughlin said the Grade 2 Davona Dale, a one-mile race here March 3, is a logical next start for Take Charge Paula, a dark bay daughter of the young sire Take Charge Indy. Deutsch said the long-term goal is the Grade 1 Test in August.

“We’ll work backward from that,” he said. “It’s going to be interesting to see what her evolution looks like.”

Easily the disappointment of the Forward Gal was Miss Mo Mentum, the 3-1 second choice who had good early position in midpack but finished a non-threatening sixth after having easily won her last two starts.

The $2 exacta (4-1) paid $38.40, the $1 trifecta (4-1-8) returned $117.60, and the 10-cent superfecta (4-1-8-3) was worth $63.50.

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