03/28/2013 1:16PM

Gulfstream Park: Rampart gives Successful Song shot at elusive graded stakes win


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Her retirement put on hold, Successful Song will try secure her first graded stakes victory Saturday when she runs in the Grade 3, $150,000 Rampart Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

[FLORIDA DERBY: Get PPs, watch Saturday’s full card live]

Successful Song, a 6-year-old daughter of Successful Appeal, has won the Ocala Stakes and the Sunshine Millions Distaff – both restricted to Florida-breds – this winter at Gulfstream, recording back-to-back Beyer Speed Figures of 95. She is a five-time stakes winner who finished second to Awesome Maria in the 2011 Rampart.

“She’s been an overachiever her whole life,” said Eddie Plesa, who trains Successful Song for Live Oak Plantation. “They were going to retire her, but because of her last two races they decided to keep her in training another year, which is nice for me. She’s coming into the race good. It’s a tough race; she’s not protected by Florida-bred [restrictions] in this one. But I think she’ll give a good account of herself.”

Successful Song will break from post 3 under Elvis Trujillo.

The only other stakes winner in the field is Go Unbridled, whose victories came in races restricted to New York-breds.

Trainer Todd Pletcher has the uncoupled entry of Ciao Bella and Authenticity in the field. Ciao Bella is 2 for 2 at Gulfstream, with both wins coming in one-turn mile races. Pletcher appeared undecided whether Ciao Bella would run here Saturday or scratch to run in the Grade 2, $250,000 Ruffian, a one-turn mile at Aqueduct on April 6.

The Rampart is run at 1 1/8 miles around two turns. Ciao Bella has the rail, with John Velazquez named.

“She always gave us the impression she would handle that, although her two best races have been at a one-turn mile,” Pletcher said.

If Pletcher elects not to run Ciao Bella, he still has Authenticity in the field. A 6-year-old mare with only five career starts, Authenticity won a first-level allowance race here by 17 1/2 lengths Feb. 14.

“It’s a big step up from a one-other-than to this, but at the same time she was pretty impressive last time,” Pletcher said. “I think she’ll appreciate the mile and an eighth as well.”

Rosie Napravnik rides Authenticity from post 5.

Go Unbridled, trained by Hall of Famer Allen Jerkens, has not run since finishing fourth in the Grade 3 Turnback the Alarm last fall at Aqueduct. Go Unbridled has a history of running well fresh.

“We don’t know if she belongs or not, but she’ll be ready for New York-breds,” Jerkens said with an eye toward future races.

Call the Ten, who won a first-level allowance race here March 13, and One Last Dance, a well-beaten fourth behind Royal Delta in the Grade 3 Sabin, complete the field.

The Rampart goes as race 4 on the 13-race Florida Derby card.