Phoenix Thoroughbred III’s Loopy Stunning rallied from final to attain a convincing victory in Saturday’s $200,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), offering coach Ken McPeek his second straight success within the 1 1/16-mile stakes for 3-year-old fillies on the Hallandale Seaside, Fla., monitor.
The Gulfstream Oaks was one among 10 stakes on Saturday’s program that was headlined by the $750,000 Curlin Florida Derby (G1) introduced by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms at Xalapa. The Oaks is a Highway to the Kentucky Oaks qualifying race that supplied 170 factors on a 100-40-20-10 scale.
Loopy Stunning earned her approach into the April 30 Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs by following within the hoofprints of McPeek-trained Swiss Skydiver, who captured final 12 months’s Gulfstream Oaks winner, who went on to beat the boys within the Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico.
“We had been right here a 12 months in the past. I used to be actually pleased with that win,” McPeek mentioned. “Possibly we are able to accomplish half as a lot this 12 months.”
Loopy Stunning, who completed second within the seven-furlong Davona Dale (G2) Feb. 27 in her 2021 debut, was rated in seventh and final as Con Lima, the 6-5 favourite ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., set the fractions of 24.16 and 48.69 seconds for the primary half-mile whereas stalked by Bow Wow Woman and Pens Road. Millefeuille unhealthy a daring transfer between horses leaving the backstretch and pulled alongside a tiring Con Lima on the flip into the homestretch earlier than opening a transparent lead on the prime of the stretch. Loopy Stunning, the 2-1 second selection ridden by Jose Ortiz who had steadily superior into competition, was despatched between horses to get a transparent run within the stretch and kicked in powerfully to overhaul Millefeuille.
“I simply needed to take a seat there and ensure she acquired into a great rhythm on the backstretch and he or she did. I saved some floor on the primary flip and I saved some floor on the second flip,” mentioned Ortiz following his third stakes victory of the afternoon. “Kenny informed me that she was a pleasant filly, so I rode her with confidence.”
The daughter of Liam’s Map scored by 2 ½ lengths whereas operating 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.41.
“I believed Jose rode her good at this time. He acquired her in a pleasant rhythm. I informed him, ‘Do not be in a rush. Do not drive something. Get her in a pleasant rhythm.’ He did that,” McPeek mentioned. “She was a bit farther again than she’s usually been, however she’s acquired a whole lot of flip of foot.”
Millefeuille completed second, 1 ¾ lengths forward of late-closing Aggressive Pace. Con Lima completed fourth.
Loopy Stunning had a productive 2020 marketing campaign, throughout which she was graded stakes-placed twice, together with a second-place end behind Merely Ravishing, additionally a McPeek trainee, within the Alcibiades (G1) at Keeneland. Merely Ravishing, who was nominated to the Gulfstream Park Oaks, is scheduled to prep for the Kentucky Oaks within the Ashland (G1) at Keeneland April 3.
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