03/15/2009 12:00AM

Game Face breaks tie with 2 1/2-length win


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Round 3 goes to Game Face.

After splitting decisions with Any Limit in their first two confrontations at this year's Gulfstream Park meet, Game Face took the rubber match with a convincing 2 1/2-length victory over Any Limit in Sunday's Grade 2, $150,000 Inside Information Stakes, formerly known as the Shirley Jones.

Any Limit finished second by 1 3/4 lengths over Keep the Peace. Stormin Mon, Pious Ashley, and Precious Kiss completed the order of finish.

Game Face defeated Any Limit in the First Lady Handicap in January before Any Limit turned the tables in the Hurricane Bertie. In the latter race, Any Limit was able to run a half-mile in 45.39 seconds and had enough to turn back Game Face, who came to her in upper stretch.

Sunday, Any Limit was forced to run early fractions of 22.41 seconds and 44.60 as Keep the Peace - who was not in either of the first two races - prompted Any Limit from the outside.

John Velazquez kept Game Face in third place and launched a three-wide bid leaving the quarter pole. Game Face struck the front just outside the eighth pole and drew clear for the convincing score. Game Face, a 4-year-old daughter of Menifee owned by Zabeel Racing International Corp. and trained by Todd Pletcher, covered the seven furlongs in 1:22.09 and returned $3.40 as the 3-5 favorite.

"The big difference was the pace," Velazquez said. "Last time I had to send out of there and try to keep up with [Any Limit] and there was nobody to go with her; I got to her head and head at the three-sixteenths pole, and then she ended up opening up again. Today there was a little more pace and somebody took care of that fast pace in front of me so it was much easier for me to finish."

The next logical spot for Game Face could be the Grade 1 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs on May 2.