03/25/2012 1:18PM

Gulfstream: Awesome Feather won't run in Rampart

Email
Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Chad Brown says the undefeated filly Awesome Feather hasn't looked quite right during training hours, so he will not enter her in this weekend's Rampart at Gulfstream Park.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -    Frank Stronach’s undefeated, Eclipse Award winner Awesome Feather will not run in Saturday’s Grade 3 Rampart at Gulfstream Park as originally scheduled, trainer Chad Brown reported on Sunday.

Awesome Feather, who has won all nine career starts, including the Sunshine Millions Distaff here earlier this winter, was expected to meet Grade 1 winner Awesome Maria in the 1 1/8-mile Rampart.

“She’s just not been quite herself this last week,” Brown said. “And with her we’d rather err on the side of caution. The plan with this filly since she returned to training last season was to be extra cautious. She needs to be 100 percent before every work or potential race and I’m just not 100 percent satisfied with the way she’s been training.”

Awesome Feather, who was purchased by Stronach just days after her victory in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, sustained an injury to her left tendon that forced her to miss the majority of her 3-year-old campaign. She has won all three starts since launching her comeback last fall, including Aqueduct’s Grade 1 Gazelle in her 3-year-old finale.

“We’re going to look into this a little closer before making any further decisions and the whole process could take up to two weeks to monitor,” said Brown. “One thing I do want to emphasize is that passing on this race has nothing to do with the tendon injury she suffered last year. The Adena vets have thoroughly examined the tendon and it is 100 per cent fine.”

Only 11 fillies and mares were nominated for the Rampart with Awesome Maria now expected to go off an overwhelming favorite. Trainer Peter Walder said Saturday that he is seriously considering the race for Lacie Slew, who shipped to Laurel to win a restricted stakes on Feb. 11. Trainer Marty Wolfson has three horses - Amor De Palacio, Beloveda, and Canadian Mistress - nominated to the Rampart and the defection of Awesome Feather would likely enhance the chances one or more of those fillies could start.

Awesome Maria, who cruised to an easy victory over Eclipse Award winner Royal Delta in the Grade 3 Sabin on Feb. 25, had her final tune-up for the Rampart on Sunday at Palm Meadows, where she breezed an easy half-mile in 51.

“She went slow but the right kind of slow,” said trainer Todd Pletcher. “She finished well and galloped out good. She’s had a solid week and I just hope the race fills because she’s doing well and is ready to go.”