04/02/2016 3:53PM

Go Maggie Go jumps from maiden sprint to win Gulfstream Park Oaks

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R.L. Thibodeau
Go Maggie Go, ridden by Luis Saez, wins the Gulfstream Park Oaks by 2 1/4 lengths.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Dale Romans felt the potential reward for running the maiden sprint winner Go Maggie Go in Saturday’s $250,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks far outweighed the risk and his gamble paid off big as Go Maggie Go scored a 2 1/4-length victory in the Grade 2 stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

Paola Queen, who like Go Maggie Go was part of the early pace, finished second, a half-length in front of the 4-5 favorite and previously undefeated Off the Tracks. It was 5 1/2 lengths to Gomo, who was followed, in order, by Double Entendre, Mo’ Green, and Hold On Momma.

The win earned Go Maggie Go 100 points toward qualifying for the Kentucky Oaks on May 6 at Churchill Downs.

Romans said he would consider the Oaks for Go Maggie Go “if she’s training good and doing as good as she was going into this.”

Go Maggie Go, a daughter of Ghostzapper owned by Mike Tapr, broke sharply under Luis Saez and was kept just off the flank of Paola Queen through a quarter-mile in 23.09 seconds and a half-mile in 46.70. Entering the far turn, Go Maggie Go poked her head in front. She never relinquished the lead thereafter, drawing away from Paola Queen, who was able to repel a bid by Off the Tracks for second.

Go Maggie Go covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.74 and returned $10 as the third choice in the seven-horse field.

“She’s just quality and when they’re doing as good as her and they’re as quality as she is you can run her in an a-other-than and win by 15 and say why didn’t I run in a stakes?’ ” said Romans, who won this race last year with Birdatthewire. “Seven horses, you get third you’re worth a lot of money and if you can do that you can win, so why not be here? We can always back up to a $50,000 pot.”

Off the Tracks was made the favorite based on three sprint victories in as many starts. She caught a wet track - labeled “good” - for the first time and, according to John Velazquez, didn’t handle it very well.

“She put in a pretty good move around the turn and kind of flattened out,” said trainer Todd Pletcher, who was running Off the Tracks for the first time following a sale. “Considering first time in the slop and around two turns it was credible. Johnny didn’t feel like she really liked the wet surface.”

Pletcher said he wouldn’t make a decision regarding the Kentucky Oaks for Off the Tracks until he sees how she comes out of this race and how she trains moving forward.