12/12/2015 3:49PM

Cali Star heads one-two finish for Wolfson in Rampart

Kenny Martin/Coglianese Photos
Cali Star, with Tyler Gafflione aboard, is now 2 for 2 in Florida after her three-length win in the Grade 3 Rampart.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - South Florida seems to agree with Cali Star, who won for the second time in as many starts since arriving when she registered a convincing three-length victory over stablemate Best Behavior in Saturday’s Grade 3 Rampart Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Cali Star had won just twice in 16 starts when she joined trainer Marty Wolfson’s Gulfstream- based stable earlier this fall. She withstood an early speed duel before drawing away to an impressive five-length optional-claiming victory across town at Gulfstream Park West in her south Florida debut on Nov. 18 and improved on that performance to become a graded stakes winner for the first time by capturing the one-mile Rampart.

With Tyler Gaffalione aboard, Cali Star stalked the early leaders while saving ground, made a decisive move to the lead along the inside nearing the quarter pole, and then gradually pulled away from Best Behavior once settling into the stretch. Best Behavior, idle since July 17 and a supplemental entry into the Rampart, forced the pace from the outset while racing wide, continued gamely but proved no match for the winner while easily best of the others.  Moment of Delight rallied mildly for third.

Cali Star, a 4-year-old daughter of Street Cry, is owned by the partnership of Ben Walder Jr. and Larry Taylor. She covered the distance in 1:36.35 over a fast track and returned $5.60 as the favorite in the field of eight older fillies and mares.

“Every time I worked her here I was surprised. Her works were really strong, and she ran today like her works have been,” said Wolfson, who also won the Rampart a year ago with Gamay Noir. “I was more pleased with the other filly. It was a last-minute decision to run her. She hadn’t run in six months and she never stopped. She was really game.”

Wolfson said he was very happy the way the race set up for both his fillies.

“I liked where she [Cali Star] was, I just didn’t want Tyler to get stuck behind a horse stopping in front of him,” said Wolfson. “But he moved quicker, and stayed out of trouble.”