May 25, 2024

R Harper Rose takes Forward Gal; Life’s an Audible, Frankie’s Empire, First World War win stakes

R Harper Rose wins the Forward Gal (Photo by Coglianese Photography)

The undercard of the widely anticipated $250,000 Holy Bull S. (G3) on Saturday at Gulfstream Park featured four other stakes for three-year-olds.

Up first was the $175,000 Sweetest Chant S. (G3) for fillies racing 1 1/16 miles on turf. Life’s an Audible, the 19-10 favorite, was content to rate in seventh place under Irad Ortiz Jr. as longshot Macanga carved out solid splits of :23.59, :47.06, and 1:10.35. The pace proved sufficient to set up Life’s an Audible’s late rally, as the Todd Pletcher trainee gained half a dozen lengths in five-sixteenths of a mile to prevail by a neck in 1:39.36. Style Points, Dynamic Pricing, Madame Mischief, Macanga, Pharoah’s Wine, Golden Ghost, and Milliat completed the order of finish behind the Repole Stable colorbearer.

Dirt sprinters took the stage in the seven-furlong $125,000 Swale S. Legalize started as the 4-5 favorite, but after sticking close to fractions of :22.46 and :45.24 set by Billal, he faded to finish last of seven. In the meantime, 14-1 longshot Frankie’s Empire launched a rally under Miguel Vasquez to dominate in 1:24.22. Trained by Michael Yates on behalf of owner Frank DeLuca, Frankie’s Empire pulled 3 1/2 lengths clear of runner-up Le Dom Bro, followed by Grand Mo the First, Billal, Risk It, Colorado Cruiser, and Legalize.

Fillies had their turn to sprint seven furlongs on dirt in the $125,000 Forward Gal S. (G3), a Road to the Kentucky Oaks qualifier worth 20-10-6-4-2 points to the top five finishers. R Harper Rose brought her sprinting record to 4-for-4 and her overall tally to 4-for-5 with a sharp performance under Edgard Zayas, pressing fractions of :22.63 and :45.90 before taking over to score by two lengths in 1:24.34. Fiona’s Magic, Chi Chi, Scalable, Nikitis, and Witwatersrand chased home the Saffie Joseph Jr. trainee, who is owned by the partnership of Averill Racing and Two Eight Racing.

The undercard stakes action wrapped up with the $175,000 Kitten’s Joy S. (G3) over 1 1/16 miles on turf.  First World War, a grass maiden winner returning to his preferred surface following a runner-up finish in the Mucho Macho Man S. on dirt, relished the switch and tracked fractions of :24.44, :47.97, and 1:10.87 before taking over to win by half a length in 1:39.78. Tyler Gaffalione rode the son of War Front for trainer Brendan Walsh and owners Qatar Racing and Hunter Valley Farm. Hammerstein, Tocayo, Freedom Principle, Edgartown, Quokka, Noted, and Deadpan completed the order of finish.