10/08/2014 11:28AM

Harrah's Philly: Southwind Roulette is a filly with a future

Curtis Salonick
Southwind Roulette has won five of seven career starts.

She might be best known for once bursting through a gaggle of geese on her way to victory at The Meadows, but co-owner Howard Taylor hopes that by the end of the season people recognize Southwind Roulette for her talent.

Southwind Roulette, who has won five of seven starts this year, races in the third of three Historic-Debutante Stakes divisions at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Friday. Her victories include the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship and her $284,448 in purses rank No. 2 to undefeated JK She’salady among 2-year-old female pacers.

“She’s a really nice filly,” said Taylor, who owns Southwind Roulette with Brad Grant. “She’s real long gaited. If you watch her stride, she really reaches out.

“And she wins,” he added with a laugh. “And she wins a lot of money. There’s nothing not to like about her.”

The first division of the Historic-Debutante Stakes includes stakes-winner Ideal Nuggets. Southwind Roulette’s split also includes New York Sire Stakes championship runner-up Bossers Joy.

Southwind Roulette is a daughter of 2008 Horse of the Year Somebeachsomewhere out of the stakes-winning mare Southwind Rio. She was purchased as a yearling for $30,000 at the 2013 Lexington Selected Sale.

She started the year with trainer Doug Lewis before moving to the barn of Ron Burke in July.

“I have a friend who has a real good eye for yearlings, Mike Hall,” Taylor said. “Mike picked her out. He always finds holes in the sale, cheap horses for the breeding. He found her and told me I should buy her.”

Southwind Roulette began her career by winning a division of the Pennsylvania All Stars and then finished third in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes.

In her next start at The Meadows, in another PaSS division, she and driver Yannick Gingras won despite having to go through a gaggle of geese on the track just prior to the final turn.

“I talked to Doug afterward and told him I didn’t believe what I saw there,” Taylor said. “He told me that the farm they’re on has geese. She’d seen that before and gone through them before, so she didn’t think anything of it. Of all the horses in the race, she’s probably the only one that would have done that. Yannick said she didn’t even bat an eye. He was worried, but she wasn’t.”

Southwind Roulette followed that win with two more victories in the preliminary rounds of the sire stakes before capturing the championship on Sept. 6 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.

She enters the Historic-Debutante after a seventh-place finish in a division of the Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes at Hoosier Park, where she got parked in an opening 25.3 quarter-mile.

“Other than that, she’s been super,” Taylor said. “We have hopes for the Breeders Crown. That’s all you can ask for at this point in the year, that you’re still going strong and you’ve got a shot to get the brass ring.”