12/26/2015 3:52PM

Best Behavior wheels back on short rest to win Sugar Swirl

Lauren King/Coglianese Photos
Best Behavior wins the Sugar Swirl Stakes by two lengths on Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Trainer Marty Wolfson doesn’t run horses back very often on two weeks rest. But in the case of Best Behavior, he felt the circumstances warranted the quick turnaround, a decision that resulted in a two-length victory over the 1-5 Stonetastic in Saturday’s Grade 3 Sugar Swirl at Gulfstream Park.

Best Behavior returned from a five-month layoff to finish second behind stablemate Cali Star in the one-mile Rampart on Dec. 12, a race Wolfson had not originally planned on but which he ended up using as the perfect prep for the six-furlong Sugar Swirl. Best Behavior also received a little help along the way from Dogwood Trail, who was sent hard from the gate, then dropped over in front of Stonetastic, forcing the favorite to steady sharply near the five-furlong pole, taking her out of her best game, which always has been racing on the lead.

Best Behavior, with John Velazquez riding confidently from the outset, wound up stalking the pace of Dogwood Trail, readily assumed control into the stretch, then had plenty left in the tank when engaged by Stonetastic through midstretch to win going away. Stonetastic, coming off an eighth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, recovered to rate just behind the leaders after taking up sharply in the opening furlong. Stonetastic eased three wide to engage the ultimate winner turning for home but proved no match, ducking out suddenly at midstretch on her left lead before gamely holding on to save second money by a nose from the late-charging You Bought Her.

Best Behavior, a 5-year-old daughter of Into Mischief, covered six furlongs in 1:09.69 over the fast track and paid $12.20.

“She’s really good right now,” said Wolfson. “This is a nice claim.”

Best Behavior was claimed by Miller Racing LLC for $62,500 on Aug. 29, 2014. According to Wolfson, she is scheduled to go into a horses of racing age sale later this winter.

“That race in the Rampart really tightened her up, and the five months off really helped her,” said Wolfson. “I was glad the way the race turned out. I told John [Velazquez] that the worst races for Stonetastic is when you lay on her, and he didn’t have to lay on her. I really liked her at that point, and I was never worried when Stonetastic came to her. She’s coming off a mile [race], and Stonetastic was coming off a Breeders’ Cup race. I knew she would outkick anybody.”