02/21/2015 3:06PM

House Rules survives inquiry to win first graded stakes in Rampart

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Barbara D. Livingston
House Rules wins the Rampart Stakes by 1 1/2 lengths Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

House Rules survived a stewards’ inquiry and jockey’s objection to earn the first graded stakes victory of her career in the 36th running of the Grade 3, $100,000 Rampart, the first of eight Saturday stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Ridden by Javier Castellano, House Rules was farthest outside among a three-horse duel passing the eighth pole when she veered in slightly, leading jockey Joe Bravo aboard Sheer Drama to briefly check his mount. House Rules proceeded to edge away from Sheer Drama and Wedding Toast to prevail by 1 1/2 lengths.

Following nearly 10 minutes of scrutinizing the incident, the stewards left the result alone, with House Rules returning $8 as second choice in a field of seven fillies and mares. Sheer Drama, a 22-1 shot, finished second after outlasting Wedding Toast, the 4-5 favorite, by a head.

Owned by Joseph Shields Jr. and trained by Jimmy Jerkens, House Rules was coming off a 9 1/4-length romp in the ungraded Bal Harbour Stakes at Gulfstream. A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred by Distorted Humor, she now has won 5 of 14 career starts. She finished the one-turn mile in 1:36.93 over a fast track.

“At the top of the stretch, I tried to switch leads, and all three horses were there together,” said Castellano. “I didn’t come in at all. I just tried to switch leads with my horse, and finally, she did. I didn’t realize [Sheer Drama] was still there, but still, I was clear and in front of the other horses.”

House Rules now has three wins and three seconds from seven starts over the main track at Gulfstream. She had been trained by Jerkens’ father, Allen, until last summer.

“All of her races in Florida have been terrific,” said Jimmy Jerkens.

After the top three, the order was Oasis at Midnight, Got Lucky, Flutterby, and Thank You Marylou.

The $2 exacta (3-5) paid $107.40, the $1 trifecta (3-5-2) returned $112.40, and the 10-cent superfecta (3-5-2-1) was worth $97.52.