Updated on 09/17/2011 11:01AM

Amonita cruises to Suwannee River win

Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
Amonita ($12.80) posts an easy 2 1/2 length victory in Sunday's $100,000 Suwannee River Handicap at Gulfstream Park.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Amonita took advantage of a slow pace and a perfectly judged ride by Jean Luc Samyn to post an easy 2 1-2 length victory over What A Price and seven other filly and mare turf specialists in Sunday's $100,000 .

Trainer Christophe Clement brought Samyn up from New York to ride Amonita when unable to obtain the services of his first call riders Jerry Bailey and Jose Santos for the Grade 3 Suwannee River. Bailey was at the Fair Grounds on Sunday to ride Strive in the New Orleans Handicap while Santos was committed to Stay Forever in the Suwannee River.

Samyn rode Amonita like he'd been on her all his life, rating the English bred off the pace of longshot Sparkling Ava for seven furlongs before easily moving to command in early stretch and drawing off with authority through the final furlong. What A Price saved ground and outfinished 3-2 favorite Calista, the second half of Clement's uncoupled entry, by a nose for second money.

Stay Forever rallied belatedly to finish fourth followed by Hi Tech Honeycomb, Sparkling Ava, Queue, Peanut Gallery and Party Queen.

Amonita, a Group 1 winner in France as a 2-year-old, returned $12.80 after covering nine furlongs over a fast turf course in 1:47.90 seconds.

"On paper there was no speed in the race and the pace was perfect," said Clement who trains Amonita for Haras du Mezeray. "She's a very good filly who has been very unlucky all her life."

Clement said the Suwannee River was likely the final race of Amonita's career. She is scheduled to be bred to Kingmambo this spring.

"She's probably finished and will go straight to Kentucky to Kingmambo," said Clement. "Although I'll talk to the owner and see if he wants to try her once more."

Clement said Calista will also be retired and bred toGone West this season.

"I was ready to go for the lead if the 8(Sparkling Avie) didn't want it but I was able to sit right behind and bide my time," said Samyn. "We had a nice soft pace to sit behind and she took off when I asked. It's my first ride in Florida this winter and it was wonderful. The race and the weather."