12/30/2012 4:39PM

Gulfstream Park: Second time's the charm for Successful Song in Ocala

Kenny Martin
Making what could be the final start of her career, Successful Song carries Joel Rosario to victory in the Ocala.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -  What a difference a year makes.

Due to a quirk in the schedule, the restricted Ocala Stakes was run twice in 2012. The first time, on Jan.  8, Successful Song finished seventh and last, beaten more than 20 lengths. The second time, on the final racing day of the 2012 season at Gulfstream Park, Successful Song rallied to defeat the 4-5 favorite Golden Mystery, perhaps closing out her career,  with a half-length triumph in the Ocala.

“She might have just been a little beat up beforehand and not come into this race a year ago as good as she did this time,” said Eddie Plesa Jr., who trains the homebred Successful Song for Charliotte Weber's Live Oak Plantation. “We backed off her a little coming into this race because it was a target for us. We gave her some time off after that race last year and she came back and ran some good races.”

Only four horses contested the one-mile Ocala after both Speak Easy Gal and Tale of Peace were scratched earlier in the day. As expected, Golden Mystery set an uncontested pace, cruising on a long lead through honest fractions of 23.49 seconds, 46.69, and 1:11.85 with Successful Song chasing her throughout. Successful Song, with jockey Joel Rosario aboard for the first time, began cutting into the winner’s advantage once settling into the stretch before wearing the leader down under strong handling in the closing strides.

My Pal Chrisy finished another 2 ½ lengths further back in third with Callmethesqueeze checking home fourth and last.

Successful Song completed the distance in 1:37.71 and paid $7.20.

“It’s possibly her last race,” said Plesa. “They plan on making her a broodmare this coming year. There is possibly one more start for her. I’ll get together with Mrs.Weber and Bruce Hill, the general manager, and they’ll make the decision. Whatever they decide is fine.”

Plesa said if Successful Song does run again it would likely be in the Florida Sunshine Millions Distaff on Jan. 19.