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Gulfstream Park: Havant, Ciao Bella add top-shelf quality to turf allowance
By Mike Welsch
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – A graded stakes-caliber field will assemble at second-level allowance prices when Havant, Ciao Bella, and Janicellaine square off for a bargain $57,500 purse in Wednesday’s main event at Gulfstream Park. The attractive headliner is scheduled to be decided at 1 7/16 miles on the turf.
Havant and Ciao Bella renew acquaintances, both coming out of Calder’s Grade 3 La Prevoyante Handicap won by longshot Closing Range. Havant went off the 4-5 favorite in the La Prevoyante, raced well placed for more than a mile, but faded to finish third, four lengths behind the winner.
The La Prevoyante was just Havant’s second start since coming to North America earlier this fall and first since being transferred to trainer Christophe Clement’s barn following her fifth-place finish in Woodbine’s E.P. Taylor. Havant, a Group 3 winner at 2 in England, did not get the best of trips in the E.P. Taylor when off slow and forced to rally widest of all into the stretch.
Despite Havant’s somewhat disappointing effort as the odds-on choice, Clement was not discouraged.
“I thought she ran well,” said Clement, who trains Havant for owner James Wigan. “She got a little flat the last quarter of a mile. I thought she looked good at the three-eighths pole but did not finish the race quite like we expected.”
Ciao Bella finished second, 1 1/4 lengths in front of Havant while unable to stay with the front-running Closing Range in the La Prevoyante. The outing was just the third on grass for the lightly raced Ciao Bella, who was second going 1 1/2 miles in Keeneland’s Dowager five weeks earlier.
Janicellaine was also graded stakes placed at Calder in her most recent start, finishing third going 1 1/8 miles in the Grade 3 My Charmer Handicap. Janicellaine, an Irish-bred daughter of Beat Hollow, finished a neck behind Ciao Bella despite being hung out wide in the Dowager. She figures forwardly placed if not the one to catch outright from her inside post under jockey Gilberto Saez.
Glamour N Glory is coming off a last-to-first entry-level allowance win at Churchill Downs for trainer David Fawkes but must prove her mettle at the distance as she has yet to race beyond 1 1/16 miles.
“I don’t think the distance will hurt her at all,” said Fawkes. “I thought about stretching her out like this at Churchill but decided to stick with what she does best and it paid off in her last start. I figured this to be a tougher spot, but I never expected to catch a bunch of graded stakes horses at this level.”
The well-traveled Game Fair captured her most recent start going 1 5/16 miles at Kentucky Downs. Trained by Graham Motion, Game Fair will be tested for class against graded stakes-caliber competition for the first time.
Indy Annestesia, and Royal Fury complete the lineup.
Good to see Ciao Bella back on the track. She was a highly regarded two yr old in the Pletcher barn, but was injured or had shin issues or something. Not surprised to see this gorgeous daughter of Giants Causeway going long on the grass. She's a fine looking filly who hopefully is on her way back to graded company.
- 1.Posted 12/05/2013 01:44PM
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