June 24, 2024

Thorpedo Anna romps in Fantasy comebacker; Power Squeeze edges Ways and Means in Gulfstream Park Oaks

Power Squeeze gets up late to defeat Ways and Means in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (Photo by Coglianese Photography / Credit to Lauren King)

Thorpedo Anna opened her three-year-old season with a dominant score in Saturday’s $750,000 Fantasy (G3) at Oaklawn Park, and Power Squeeze stretched her win streak to four in $250,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2). Both races served as major qualifiers in the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series, offering points on a 100-50-25-15-10 scale.

Last seen finishing second in the Golden Rod (G2) at Churchill Downs last November, Thorpedo Anna came back impressively in the Fantasy, looking like a major Kentucky Oaks (G1) player while drawing clear to a four-length win. The dark bay filly stalked an up-close third before advancing to the lead nearing the completion of the far turn and drew off stylishly into the stretch, finishing up 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.24 with regular rider Brian Hernandez Jr.

Kenny McPeek trains for Brookdale Racing, Mark Edwards, Judy Hicks and Magdalena Racing, and Thorpedo Anna was off as the 2.70-1 second choice. The Kentucky-bred Fast Anna filly has now captured three of four starts, convincingly winning a maiden special weight at Keeneland and an entry-level allowance at Churchill Downs last fall prior to her runner-up finish to Intricate in the Golden Rod.

West Omaha offered a nice run to be a non-threatening second, 3 1/4 lengths clear of 27-1 outsider Tapit Jenallie. All Things Go came next in fourth, and Recharge, Ba Dee Yah, Lemon Muffin, My Mane Squeeze, Candy Aisle, and In Just My Heels completed the order.

Thorpedo Anna was bred by Judy Hicks and sold for $40,000 as a yearling at the 2022 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October sale. She’s the first stakes winner from the unraced Uncle Mo mare Sataves, and this is the immediate female family of Grade/Group 1 winners Eskendereya and Balmont.

After picking up 20 points for a convincing win in the Feb. 10 Suncoast S. at Tampa Bay Downs, Power Squeeze rallied determinedly to overhaul odds-on favorite Ways and Means in the Gulfstream Park Oaks, getting up late to prevail by a length. The stalker promises to bring a late kick to the Kentucky Oaks.

Daniel Centeno was up on the Jorge Delgado-trained daughter of Union Rags, and Power Squeeze left the starting gate as the 11-1 fifth choice, completing the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:44.19.

Unraced since early September, Ways and Means raced gallantly in defeat. Checked and bounced around entering the first turn, she dropped back and was guided outside by Irad Ortiz. Ways and Means moved early along the backstretch before being taken in hand, and she advanced on the far turn to take a short lead into the stretch.

Power Squeeze proved too much in the end, launching her move on the final turn to reach a threatening position turning for home, and the chestnut is campaigned by Lea Farms.

Into Champagne held third after establishing a pressured pace, winding up nearly six lengths back of Ways and Means, and she was followed by Gun Song, Scalable, Do Gooder, America’s Vow, Fiona’s Magic, and Neom City.

Power Squeeze broke her maiden the third time out at Delaware Park last fall and jumped straight to stakes competition with a romping win in the Cash Run S. over a one-turn mile at Gulfstream on New Year’s Day. She stretched to two turns in the Suncoast and has now earned $337,450 from a 6-4-1-0 record.

A $90,000 OBS April two-year-old purchase, Power Squeeze hails from the multiple stakes-winning Awesome Again mare Callmethesqueeze and counts stakes-winning Call of Mischief as a half-sister. She was bred in Kentucky by Forging Oaks Farm.