03/17/2012 6:00PM

Gulfstream Park: Musical Romance gets up to win Inside Information

Bob Coglianese
Musical Romance (5), with Juan Leyva up, wins the Inside Information.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - The champ is back!

Eclipse Award winner Musical Romance rebounded from her disappointing 2012 debut in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint to register a three-quarter-length victory over the 45-1 Hot Summer in Saturday's $150,000 Inside Information at Gulfstream Park. Groupie Doll, the tepid 3-1 favorite in the evenly matched field, rallied belatedly to finish third.

Musical Romance grabbed a quarter and tore her shoe half off leaving the starting gate in the Sunshine Millions, doing well to finish fourth in her first appearance since sewing up an Eclipse Award with a 1 1/4-length victory over Switch in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. But she had no such issues at the start of the Grade 2 Inside Information, breaking alertly and racing well placed a couple of lengths behind pacesetter Funny Sunny while saving ground under regular rider Juan Leyva.

Musical Romance appeared to be in some trouble when she lacked racing room near the inside through early stretch. But Leyva remained patient and found a seam near midstretch, at which point Musical Romance burst through the opening to run down Hot Summer.

Hot Summer, a multiple Grade 3 winner at 3 but off her form of late,  showed improved speed to prompt the pace from the outset, split Funny Sunny and R Holiday Mood to gain the lead in early stretch and edged clear, but could not withstand the winner. Groupie Doll raced wide throughout and found her best stride too late.

Musical Romance, who had not hit the board in five previous starts at Gulfstream, completed seven furlongs in 1:21.88 and returned a generous $11.20 considering she is the reigning Filly and Mare Sprint champ.

"I'm so proud of this filly, she's really remarkable," said trainer Bill Kaplan, who also owns Musical Romance in partnership with Pinnacle Racing Stable. "She got hurt pretty bad in her last start - she had an infection in that heal and missed three weeks of training.  But she told me she was ready the way she'd been training, and Juan is the Ice Man. He stayed in that pocket, waited and waited, and then got through. I was afraid it wasn't going to open up, and then she came through there."

Kaplan said the Vinery Madison at Keeneland is next on the schedule for Musical Romance.