03/15/2012 12:53PM

Gulfstream: Musical Romance seeks clean trip in Inside Information

Tom Keyser
Musical Romance has worked twice since her last start, posting a bullet five-eighths on March 3 and a near bullet half-mile blowout last Saturday at Calder.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Musical Romance had a year’s worth of excuses in just one race when finishing fourth making her 2012 debut in the Florida Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint. The winner of last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, Musical Romance will attempt to bounce back and put her Eclipse Award- winning form on display when she returns against 10 rivals on Saturday in a very deep edition of Gulfstream Park’s $150,000 Inside Information.

Musical Romance stumbled at the start, grabbing a quarter and pulling her shoe half off, just seconds into the six-furlong Sunshine Millions Sprint. Things didn’t get any better from there as Musical Romance was also forced to steady on the turn before doing well to finish fourth, nearly eight lengths behind runaway winner It’s Me Mom but only a length from runner-up Honey Chile.

“She had a lot of excuses. That last race was certainly not indicative of her ability,” said Musical Romance’s trainer, Bill Kaplan. “Not only did she break bad and get steadied but she grabbed her quarter pretty good and ran with one shoe half off. I know a lot of people were disappointed in her last race and think she can’t handle this racetrack. But she ran well the year before in the Sunshine Millions so I don’t think that’s it.”

Musical Romance has worked twice since her last start, posting a bullet five-eighths on March 3 and a near bullet half-mile blowout last Saturday at Calder.

“She’s recovered perfectly from what happened in her last race and her rider [Juan Leyva] said she’s as good as ever, if not better,” said Kaplan. “She pretty versatile distance-wise but she did win the Breeders’ Cup at seven furlongs so I guess you can say this may be her best distance. The key, as always, is the trip. She had nine perfect trips culminating with the Breeders’ Cup and it’s the trip that will probably make the difference again Saturday.”

Musical Romance figures to get a perfect stalking trip in a field lacking much in the way of any real blazing speed in the Grade 2 Inside Information. As was the case in her two previous victories, including the Grade 3 Hurricane Bertie four weeks ago, R Holiday Mood figures to control the early running with Funny Sunny and perhaps Groupie Doll likely to be close up from the outset.

R Holiday Mood has won 5 of 8 career starts, four of those wins coming in stakes. She has proven tough to get past in both of her local wins, re-asserting herself from a dead rail to dead heat for first with Delightful Mary in the one-mile Ocala before turning back a stretch-long bid from Funny Sunny to capture the Hurricane Bertie.

Funny Sunny is another filly who loves the local course and is coming off arguably her best effort to date when extending R Holiday Mood for most of the 6 1/2-furlong Hurricane Bertie before coming out second best.

Groupie Doll shortens up to seven furlongs for the first time since she was beaten a head at Keeneland last fall in the Grade 2 Raven Run.

Her Smile, a wide-running third behind Musical Romance in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, finished third after racing closer to the pace than usual in the Hurricane Bertie although she could be at the mercy of another slow pace on Saturday.

Magical Feeling has won five of her last six starts and 11 of 19 races overall for trainer Allen Iwinski, including the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie at seven furlongs on Feb. 18 at Laurel.

Belle of the Hall, Persuading, Catch a Thief, Much Rejoicing, and Hot Summer round out the lineup.

Inside Information Stakes (G2), Post Time: 5:13 ET Saturday

Purse: $150,000; 7 furlongs





ML Odds


Belle of the Hall

T. Albertrani

E. Trujillo




D. Romans

J. Castanon



Catch A Thief

T. Hills

J. Leparoux



Funny Sunny

R. Hess, Jr.

K. Desormeaux



Musical Romance

W. Kaplan

J. Leyva



R. Holiday Mood

T. Pletcher

J. Velazquez



Much Rejoicing

J. Toner

J. Lezcano



Hot Summer

D. Fawkes

L. Saez



Groupie Doll

W. Bradley

R. Maragh



Magical Feeling

A. Iwinski

R. Alvardo, Jr.



Her Smile

C. Brown

J. Castellano